Two-handled jar (amphora)
about 540–530 B.C.
Painter the Affecter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
CVA Boston 1, pl. 09.
45.6 cm (17 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Black Figure
Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)
On one side we see Dionysos, Hermes, and a female figure, possibly his betrothed, Ariadne. Dionysos holds a grape vine and a drinking horn, and Hermes wears his distinctive traveling hat (petasos) and winged boots. They are flanked by a satyr on either side: the one on the left has a frontal face, which connects him to the viewer. This may also indicate that the satyr is drunk. The other side shows a similar scene, only Hermes also holds his typical caduceus and leads him not to a woman, but to a male figure, who is probably Zeus.
“The Affecter” is named for his precise, affected manner of drawing and composing his figures. His amphoras have a distinctive shape and he may have potted them himself. There is a wealth of carefully incised detail and added color, especially on the garments and the unusual lotus and palmette frieze.
“The Affecter decorates ovoid neck amphorae of rather old fashioned appearance, some belly amphorae including the new Type C with a rolled lip, and smaller vases. His figures have tiny heads, well upholstered bodies when dressed, but angular and spiky when undressed: they are easily recognized. His pattern work is careful and as odd in its proportions as his figures, with well sprung little palmettes at the end of long thin tendrils, skinny but well formed lotuses and a rash of tiny red and white dots all over clothing. The Affecter is a stylist as no other, and the content of his figure scenes concerns him little. Passive clockwork elders stand and gesticulate pointlessly while men accost youths or a Hermes flutters before a seated Zeus.” (Boardman, p.65, Athenian Black Figure Vases: a handbook)
By date unknown: W. H. Forman Collection; inherited by his sister-in-law Mrs. Burt and then by his nephew Major A. H. Browne about 1889; by 1899: with Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London (sale of the Forman Collection, June 19-22, lot 304); 1901: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, December 1901
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund