About This Artwork

Greek, Athens
Attributed to The Leningrad Painter

Hydria (Water Jar), 460–450 B.C.

Terracotta, red-figure technique
42.4 x 37.6 x 31.8 cm (16 3/4 x 14 3/4 x 12 1/2 in.)

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson through The Antiquarian Society, 1911.456

This vase is decorated in one of the most popular techniques of ancient vase painting, the black-figure technique. This technique, developed in Corinth, was used widely during the Archaic period (700–480 B.C.). Gloss, a slip made from refined clay, was applied to all areas intended to be black. For the figural scene the silhouettes of the figures and other elements were painted in gloss, sometimes following the lines of a preliminary sketch scratched into the surface. Using a sharp tool, the artist created details by incising through the gloss to the light clay ground below. Colors such as purple-red and white, made from a gloss with mineral pigments, were then added. After a three-stage firing process applying alternately less and more oxygen, the gloss turned black. In its finest form, it was quite shiny.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Ancient Art Galleries, Gallery 155, April 20, 1994 - February 6, 2012.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151, November 11, 2012 - present.

Publication History

J.D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters. Vol. II (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1963), p. 572, No. 88, and ARV I, 399, No. 82.

Louise Clark, "A Rare Textile Frame on Vases at The Art Institute." (Paper: April 17, 1979), pp. 1-7.

Warren G. Moon and Louise Berge, Greek Vase-Painting in Midwestern Collections (The Art Institute of Chicago, 1979), No. 97, pp. 170-171.

John Griffiths Pedley, Ancient Art at The Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 20, No. 1 (1994), pp. 42-45 (ill.).

Karen B. Alexander, "From Plaster to Stone: Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago," in Recasting the Past: Collecting and Presenting Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago, by Karen Manchester (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2012), p. 26, 38.

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