Attributed to the Painter of Berlin 1686 or the Painter of Tarquinia RC 3984 Greek; Athens
About this artwork
Ancient artists frequently depicted events from the life of the demigod Herakles, especially the Twelve Labors he had to complete to attain immortality. On this amphora (storage jar) the great hero completes his first assignment—to kill a lion with an invincible hide that was terrorizing the village of Nemea. Here the contest has been decided; Herakles strangles the lion, whose jaws he has pried open with his bare hands. To the right stand Athena and Hermes; on the other stand a nymph and Iolaos, Herakles’s nephew and companion. In subsequent episodes, Herakles often wears the lion’s pelt, either as a headdress or over his arm, as a protective cloak.
These vases were used for the transport and storage of items such as wine and olives, and they were given as prizes in athletic competitions. Many vases have been damaged, either in antiquity or in modern times, and repaired. However, this amphora remains intact, with only a few losses, such as the chips on the rim, and some surface abrasion. The vivid white gloss that highlights the women’s skin and the shield is especially well preserved.
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Warren G. Moon and Louise Berge, eds., Greek Vase-Painting in Midwestern Collections (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1979), pp. 52-53, no. 31.
Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago, vol. 74, no. 1 (January-March, 1980), p. 8.
H. Bloesch, Greek Vases From the Hirschmann Collection (Zurich: Rohr, 1982), no. 24.
Dietrich von Bothmer, The Amasis Painter and His World: Vase-Painting in Sixth-Century B.C. Athens (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985), p. 49, 51, fig. 50 (ill.).
Jody Maxmin, “A New Amphora by the Painter of Berlin 1686,” in Studien zur Mythologie und Vasenmalerei: Konrad Schauenburg zum 65. Geburtstag am 16. April 1986 (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1986), p. 39.
A.W. Johnston, “Amasis and the Vase Trade,” in Papers on the Amasis Painter and his World, ed. M. True (Los Angeles: Getty Center for the History of Art, 1987), pp. 151-3.
John Griffiths Pedley, Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 20, 1 (1994), pp. 38-39, no. 20 (ill.).
Classical Philology, Front Matter, vol. 92, no. 3 (July 1997), cover ill.
James N. Wood, Treasures from the The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2000), p. 71, (ill.)
M.D. Stansbury-O’Donnell, Vase Painting, Gender, and Social Identity in Archaic Athens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 14, fig. 4.
A.W. Johnston, Trademarks on Greek Vases: Addenda (Liverpool: Aris and Phillips, 2006), pp. 117, 5D no. 3a and 86, 16B no. 29a.
Karen Manchester, Recasting the Past: Collecting and Presenting Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago; New York: Yale University Press, 2012), pp. 32, 59, fig. 9.1.
The Art Institute of Chicago, The Essential Guide (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2013), p. 68.
Art Institute of Chicago, Greek Vase-Painting in Midwestern Collections, December 22, 1979 – February 24, 1980.
Art Institute of Chicago, Myth and Legend in Classical Art, Gallery 101A, February 28, 1987 - August 28, 1987.
Art Institute of Chicago, The Human Figure in Early Greek Art, A Preview, Part One, Gallery 101A, September 1, 1988 – May 24, 1989.
Art Institute of Chicago, The Human Figure in Early Greek Art, A Preview, Part Two, Gallery 120A, September 24, 1989 - February 21, 1990.
Art Institute of Chicago, Ancient Art Galleries, Gallery 155, April 20, 1994 - February 6, 2012.
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.
Summa Galleries, Beverly Hills, by 1977 [according to a letter from Dietrich von Bothmer dated June 9, 1978, in curatorial object file]; Earl Keefer, Culver City, by 1978; sold to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1978.
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