About this artwork
During the sixth and fifth centuries BC, the Etruscans, who lived north of Rome, increasingly imported Athenian ceramics decorated with scenes of Greek mythology, religion, and daily life. Made of fine, iron-rich clay that fired orange, decorated with a rich black gloss, and sometimes embellished with white and purple-red details, the ceramic vessels produced in Athens were the finest of Classical antiquity.
Etruscan artists, no doubt eager to capitalize on the high demand for Greek vases, and perhaps also hoping to attract customers unable to afford the imported wares, set up a workshop, probably at Vulci, to produce facsimiles of the Athenian vases. This vessel’s attenuated proportions and symmetrical profile create an especially elegant shape that belies the somewhat coarse texture of the local Etruscan clay from which it is made. The clay’s poor quality also stymied attempts to replicate the highly refined surface finishes of Athenian vases. Nevertheless, the painter of this vase skillfully composed his scenes within trapezoidal picture fields bounded above by a decorative pattern of interlacing lotus buds and dots and along its sides by a single line. On the front, a hound looks back at a horse and hunter, while a stag and hare flee for their lives on the back.
- Ancient Etruscan
- Amphora (Storage Jar)
- 530 BCE–520 BCE
- terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique
- 38.7 × 27.9 cm (15 1/4 × 11 in.); diam. 19.4 cm (7 5/8 in.)
- Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund