Two-handled jar (amphora)
about 530 B.C.
the Three-Line Group
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
CVA Boston 1, pl. 36; 38, 1-2.
Height: 34.4 cm (13 9/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Black Figure
Not On View
Both sides: Battle of the Gods and the Giants (the Gigantomachy)
Inscriptions: “Herakles,” “Zeus,” “Hermes,” “Athena,” “Hipon is handsome” (Hipon kalos)
This amphora has the sloping shoulder and narrow neck of the vases given as prizes in the Panathenaic Games at Athens, but it has the patternwork of a standard neck-amphora. Athena, Zeus, Hermes, and Poseidon (identified by his trident, the others are labeled) are battling the Giants for control of heaven and earth. Although Herakles did not become a god until long after this primordial battle, he assisted in the battle. There is a seated figures beneath each handle, one male, one female - one might assume they are Zeus and Hera. The figure beneath Herakles’ chariot is painted white, so is presumably female. This could lead one to suppose that she is an Amazon, and this scene is actually an Amazonomacy, but since she is the only one, this is unlikely.
By date unknown: A. Castellani Collection (Castellani catalogue, Rome, March 17- April 10, 1884, no. 58); by 1898: A. Morrison Collection (Christie, Manson & Woods sale, London, June 29-30, 1898, lot 282); by 1901: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, 1901
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund