Two-handled jar (pelike) depicting Nike setting up a trophy
about 450–440 B.C.
The Trophy Painter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 160.
Height: 35.45 cm (13 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Red Figure
A: A winged victory figure (Nike) erects a trophy in the form of a mannequin on this pelike. She attaches the helmet as a finishing touch. A trunk supports this as well as a corselet (over a chiton), a sword, and a spear, angled downward so the point appears next to the leg of victory and the butt is behind the helmet of the mannequin. The shield leaning on the trunk has a huge eye depicted on it indicating the apotropaic quality of shield devices and commenting on the viewer’s experience of the vase. Temporary makeshift trophies (tropaia) were erected on the field immediately following conflict and placed at the point where the tide of the battle turned. Trophies often took anthropomorphic form, and were dressed to mark a precise location rather than to sanctify it. Originally these objects did not have religious connotations.
B: Standing youth with the cane of a citizen, probably a viewer of the trophy.
By date unknown in the 18th century: Sir William Hamilton Collection; 19th century: Hope Collection; purchased at the sale of the Hope Collection (catalogue no. 84A), through E. P. Warren; purchased by MFA, February 5, 1920, for $ 648.88
Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912