Fragmentary water jar (hydria) with Herakles and Kerberos

Late Archaic Period
505–500 B.C.
the Berlin Painter

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 122.


Length: 15 cm (5 7/8 in.); depth: 17.3 cm (6 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


The Ancient World



Sharply defined shoulder with double row of palmette and lotus. On body: Herakles, with Athena and Hermes, bringing the three-headed hell-hound Kerberos from Hades. As in most of his deeds, Herakles was assisted by Athena who stands at the left holding her helmet. At the right, with only his right hand and round sun-hat (petasos) remaining, is Hermes, who conducted the souls of the dead to the Underworld. For a number of reasons, fragments from the same vase often become separated and end up in different collections. The small fragment with a part of Cerberus’s body entered the museum long after the larger one.


By 1903: sold by Paul Hartwig (b. 1859 – d. 1919), Rome, to Edward Perry Warren (b. 1860 –d. 1928), London (according to Warren’s records, this was bought in Rome, from Hartwig); March 24, 1903, sold by Warren to the MFA.

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900