Situla

Greek, South Italian
Late Classical Period
340–330 B.C.


Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 110.

Dimensions

27 cm (10 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

01.8098

Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Gnathian Ware

Not On View

Collections

Europe, The Ancient World

Classifications

Vessels

Behind spout, a strainer. On front of a spout in the form of a comic mask. From the mask rises a hoop handle, at the other end of which is a plastic Herakles. Other painted decoration in yellow, white, and red.

VASE PAINTING in ITALY, #110 - (01.8098)
Situla
Attributed to the Konnakis Group (Webster)
about 340-330 B.C.
The comic mask of the old man has white hair and beard, a red face,a red fillet, and a larger padded fillet in white. The spout itself is painted yellow. Beneath the spout is a white tripod with three laurel branches draped with lobed fillets. The stems of the laurel are red-brown. On the opposite side of the rim, at the root of the handle, is a rather benign-looking mask of Herakles modeled in relief, with a yellow beard, red face, and yellow lionskin.
Below the rim on each side is a grapevine with a red central stripe, the grapes alternately red and orange, the leaves yellow, and the tendrils white. From the ends of both grapevines hang incised vines of ivy, with yellow leaves. A broad, reserved band with a black stripe near the top circles the lower body above the disk foot. There is a large X-shaped dipinto on the bottom of the foot rendered in pinkish wash.
Webster (Gnathia, p. 6) recognized the same hand on a chous,London 67.5-8, and a lekythos, Oxford 1881.100.
For situlae of this type, see K. Schuenburg, AA 1981, pp. 462-488; J.R. Green, Museum News (Toledo Museum of Art) 22, no. 2 (1980), pp. 38-33; K.T. Luckner, in Mayo, Magna Graecia, pp. 271-272, no. 130; and A. Kossatz-Deissmann, AA 1990, pp. 505-520. For the mask of Herakles, compare a situla in the Bill and Linda Houston collection on loan to the Tampa Museum of Art (inv. 7.2.89). For the spout in the form of a comic mask, compare Lecce 1631 (Bernardini, Vasi, p. 26, pl. 58, 10). A similar spout, but with a satyr-mask, is found on a situla in Toledo (inv. 73.7: Green, Museum News, p. 29, fig. 6; Luckner,Magna Graecia, p. 271, detail a.) These situlae clearly imitate metal vessels; for example, compare two bronze situlae from Bolsena, also with masks of Herakles (Vatican 12806 and 12808: P.J.Riis, ActaA 30 (1959), p. 15, fig. 12). Most ceramic examples come from Apulia, but metal examples are found also in Etruria, Macedonia, and Northern Greece; see B. Barr-Sharrar, in Barr-Sharrar and Borza, Macedonia and Greece, pp. 127-131. For the debate over whether the metal vessels are primarily Greek, Etruscan, or Macedonian in origin, see A. Oliver, Jr. in Antiquties from the Collection of Christos G. Bastis (New York, 1987), p. 223, no. 129.

Provenance

By 1901: with E. P. Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Rome.); purchased by MFA from E. P. Warren, December 1901

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund