Two-handled jar (amphora) with Herakles driving a bull to sacrifice

Archaic Period
about 525–520 B.C.
the Andokides Painter, the Lysippides Painter

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 115.


Height: 53.2 cm (20 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Black Figure and Red Figure (Bilingual)

On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)


The Ancient World



This amphora is decorated on both sides but in different painting techniques. One side has a scene depicted in the Red Figure style, and the other side shows the same scene in the Black Figure style. This type of decoration puts the vase into the so-called Bilingual group.
The traditional attributions for the painter is: the Black Figure (side A) is by the Lysippides Painter, and the Red Figure (side B) is by the Andokides Painter.

Both sides depict Herakles driving a bull to sacrifice, past a tree, holding his club in his right hand, and in his left the rope fastened round the horns of the bull, also a bundle of spits. He wears a short tunic (chitoniskos), a lionskin, a belt, has sword and quiver slung, by crossbands, at his left flank, carries two small wineskins, apparently empty, over his left arm. The bull’s head is filleted with colorful ribbons, and the woollen fillet has the form commonly used for this purpose as for others, tied at intervals and the ends splayed.

Condition: Considerably restored.


By 1842: with Basseggio, Rome; by 1854: Joly de Bammeville Collection (Christies auction, May 13, 1854, lot 40); date unknown in the mid 19th century: W. H. Forman Collection; inherited first by his sister-in-law Mrs. Burt and later by his nephew Major A. H. Browne of Callaly Castle, Northumberland, somewhere around the year 1889; by 1899: with Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London, W.C. (auction of the Forman Collection, June 19-22, lot 305); 1899: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, 1899, for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund