Water jar (hydria)

Late Archaic Period
about 490 B.C.
the Gallatin Painter

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 069.


Height: 41.7 cm (16 7/16 in.); diameter: 27 cm (10 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

On View

Archaic Greece Gallery (Gallery 113)


The Ancient World



This hydria is decorated in two areas: the main panel on the body of the vessel, and a smaller panel on the shoulder.
Main panel: A carpenter, wearing a short tunic pulled down to his waist, is drilling a hole in the lid of a large chest. On the right, a nursemaid is holding the baby Perseus. On the left, a balding, long haired, bearded man (Akrisios, the father of Danae) is leaning on a staff and gesturing to the others. Danae, wearing an elaborate hairstyle with ribbons and an elegant dress (chiton) and cloak (himation) stands behind the chest, gesturing in protest of her fate.

On shoulder: Three youths baiting a bull. The one on the left has a cloak draped over his shoulder like a toreador, and aims a spear at the beast. The second boy from the left (the hero Theseus?) engages directly with the bull, as if in a boxing match. The bull lowers his head. The boy on the right also wears a cloak over one arm and holds a spear. He sits, as if ready to jump up for action.


By 1912: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: From Gela.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, January 2, 1913, for $18,948.70 (this figure is the total price for MFA 13.186-13.245)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912