Sunday, August 7, 2016

2016.08.09

Eva Hofstetter-Dolega, Corpus vasorum antiquorum Deutschland, Bd 97; Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Skulpturensammlung, Bd 2: Attisch rotfigurige keramik. Corpus vasorum antiquorum. M√ľnchen: Verlag C. H. Beck, 2015. Pp. 111; 19 p. of figures, 76 p. of plates. ISBN 9783406677472. €98.00.

Reviewed by Mary B. Moore, Hunter College, CUNY (mbmoore@mindspring.com)

Version at BMCR home site

This Dresden CVA presents the Attic red-figured closed vessels, dating from the very late 6th century B.C. to the middle of the 4th: 17 neck-amphorae, including Nolan amphorae; 16 pelikai; 9 kalpides; 2 loutrophoroi; 5 oinochoai; 3 head vases; a moulded figure vase; 20 shoulder and 12 squat lekythoi; 3 askoi; and 1 aryballos. Most of the vases were acquired in the mid-19th century, mainly in Italy from various sources, but also from the Hungarian National Museum and several from a collection in Brussels. Most of those with known proveniences come from Nola. The excellent black and white photographs are by Reinhard Seurich. The drawings are by Susanne Kuprella. Profiles are 1:1 unless specified; inscriptions and preliminary drawings are 1:1. The bibliographic abbreviations are especially copious. Each entry is as detailed as one may hope for: previous owners, bibliography, and measurements, followed by descriptions of condition, technique, shape, ornamental and figural decoration, inscriptions (if present), then a discussion of the shape, decoration, and details of the subjects with relevant bibliography.

NECK-AMPHORAE: pp. 15-20, pls. 1-5. The neck-amphora is a lidded storage vessel and is one of the most popular shapes in both Attic black-figure and Attic red-figure. The three examples in this fascicule may be dated between 510 and 460 B.C. Dr. 288 (pp. 15- 17, pls. 1, 1-2 and 2), by a follower of Euphronios (ca. 510-500 B.C.) depicts Herakles dispatching Kyknos, an aggressive son of Ares. Herakles appears on the obverse, club held over his head, bow in his extended right hand. On the reverse, Kyknos, wounded in his right shoulder, falls backward, holding out his shield behind him. The Berlin Painter, one of the most talented and prolific vase painters of his time, decorated Dr. 289 (pp. 17-18, pls. 1, 3-4 and 3), ca. 480-475 B.C., with a scene of the departure of Triptolemos. On the obverse, he sits in his winged chariot holding a thyrsos in his right hand and a stalk with long grains in his left. His mother, Demeter, stands on the reverse. On Dr. 307 (pp. 19-20, pls. 4-5), by the Orchard Painter, dating about 470-460 B.C., Dionysos appears with three maenads.

NOLAN AMPHORAE: pp. 21-35, pls. 6-22. This neck-amphora takes its name from Nola, the site that produced very many of them including nearly all in this fascicule. It was created in the workshop of the Berlin Painter and was popular from about 490-410 B.C. Hofstetter-Dolega gives a very good bibliography on p. 21. The subjects on most of the Nolans in this CVA depict one or two figures on each side, often rather peaceful scenes.

PELIKAI: pp. 36-53, pls. 23-38. Like the amphora, the pelike was used for the storage of wine and oil; later in the fifth century it sometimes contained the ashes of the dead. The scenes on most of the pelikai in this fascicule are quiet with only one or two figures, but three are worth mentioning. On ZV 2335 (pp. 39-41, pl. 27) by the Alkimachos Painter (ca. 470-460 B.C.), an old satyr with a cane reaches out to touch the beard of a herm of Dionysos on Side A and on Side B, an unidentified winged woman runs to left holding a flaming torch and a thymiaterion. Hofstetter-Dolega notes that these objects would be unusual for Nike and discusses why the herm is Dionysos, not Hermes. The second pelike, Dr. 323 (pp. 42-44, pls. 29, 7-8 and 30) by the Eithiop Painter (ca. 460-450 B.C.), shows Circe transforming one of Odysseus' companions into a swine (head, hind legs and tail, the rest human), a rarely illustrated subject described by Homer (Odyssey X, 235-240). The third, ZV 1706 (pp. 49-50, pls. 36-37) by the Nikias Painter (ca. 410-400 B.C.) was found in Laurion in 1897 and depicts a lively Dionysian thiasos in which the god is shown as youthful. Hofstetter-Dolega remarks that it is unusual for a youthful Dionysos to be depicted fully clothed in the thiasos (p. 50).

KALPIDES (pp. 54-65, pls. 39, 4 and 40-51, 3). The kalpis is a water jar characterized by its continuous curve profile between the mouth and the foot, unlike the hydria, which has a shoulder that forms an angle with the body. Dr. 295 (pp. 54-56, pls. 39, 4 and 40, 1), the earliest in this fascicule (ca. 515-510 B.C.), is attributed to Euphronios by Hofstetter-Dolega (pp. 54-55) and illustrates a Pentathlon scene: a youth about to hurl a spear, a youth playing the aulos, and a pick stuck in the ground. Leagros is praised as kalos (fig. 15). On Dr. 330 (pp. 56-58, pls. 40, 2 and 41-43), the Christie Painter (ca. 440-430 B.C.) presents a quiet scene in the women's quarters. A woman sits on a klismos looking into a hand mirror before a woman who balances a chest on her right palm, and other women stand by, one with a mirror, another touching the shoulder of the seated woman. Above the right horizontal handle, a woman standing before a youth holds an exaleptron in her right hand (pl. 43, 2). Hofstetter-Dolega (p. 58) remarks on the use of this shape at graves and in the women's quarters. She also notes that the presence of the youth is unusual and might signal a marital-erotic aspect. The latest kalpis is Dr. 371 (pp. 64-65, pls. 49, 3-4, 50, and 51, 1-3), ca. 350-340 B.C., by a painter from the Apollonia Group who presents a cheerful Dionysian scene. A woman dances before an elegant thymiaterion, Eros plays the aulos, a maenad holds a tympanon and a satyr joins the group.

LOUTROPHOROI (pp. 66-68, pls. 51, 4 and 52-54). The loutrophoros is a tall, slender vase associated with weddings and funerals. There are two varieties, the amphora type that has a tall handle at each side of the neck, and the hydria type that has a small horizontal handle on each side of the shoulder and a vertical handle in back that reaches from the shoulder to just below the mouth. ZV 2030 (pp. 66-67, pls. 51, 4 and 52-54, 1-5) by the Painter of London 1923 (ca. 430-420 B.C.) is a well-preserved example of the hydria type. On the neck, a woman stands to left holding a kalathos and an alabastron. On the body is a marriage scene. The bride sits on a klismos, her arms raised toward a woman presenting a basket of fruit. Nike flies in from the right holding an alabastron and a taenia. Hofstetter-Dolega gives a long, very good discussion of the scene with special attention to the fruit in the basket, perhaps pomegranates that may be associated with weddings. Dr. 391 (pp. 67-68, pl. 54, 6-8), ca. 380 B.C., is a neck fragment showing in the upper section a nude youth running to right, in the lower one, part of a youthful Herakles.

OINOCHOAI (pp. 69-75, pls. 55-60, 1-3). The oinochoe is used for pouring liquids, occasionally as a measure. ZV 1827 (pp. 69-70, pl. 55, 1-3), ca. 460-450 B.C., is the type called a chous, which has a trefoil mouth and a globular body. A dwarf with a very large head stands to right holding a large skyphos in his left hand. A cloth covering a food basket hangs on the wall and a large chous stands on the ground. Hofstetter-Dolega notes that this dwarf seems to be the only example known on this shape and she gives a good general discussion of dwarfs (pp. 69-70). Dr. 332 (pp. 71-72, pls. 56, 4 and 57, 1-8) by the Shuvalov Painter (ca. 440-435 B.C.) is an oinochoe of Shape 4, which has a continuous curve between the neck and the body, and is often supported by a moulded foot. A woman stands to right holding a chest with an open lid, another sits on a klismos playing the lyre, and an elegant woman with a kithara faces them. Dr. 372 (pp. 72-73, pls. 58-59, 1-2) is an oinochoe of Shape 6 (ca. 410-400 B.C.), a metallic looking vessel, which has a trefoil mouth, a tall curving neck joined to a body that tapers to a ring foot. A man in eastern dress holding a spear faces a woman. Hofstetter-Dolega suggests the subject may be the meeting of Paris and Helen in Sparta. There are three oinochoai in the shape of a woman's head (pl. 59, 3-14). Most interesting is ZV 799 (p. 75, pl. 60, 1-3), a molded figure in the shape of a winged dancer flanked by flowers that comes from Corinth and dates ca. 400-375 B.C. I wish the author had illustrated details of this vessel.

LEKYTHOI (pp. 76-97, pls. 60, 4-7 and 61-74, 1-6). The lekythos contains oil. Many are shoulder lekythoi with tall cylindrical bodies. On ZV 2969 (pp. 79-80, pl. 62, 4-8) by the Karlsruhe Painter (ca. 470-460 B.C.) Athena strides to right, aegis held out and spear ready. She stands on a tall frieze of palmettes, which makes her look rather diminutive. More often the subjects on lekythoi are scenes of daily life and two may stand for many. On ZV 2025 (pp. 80-81, pl. 63, 4-8) by the Ikaros Painter (ca. 460 B.C.), a woman stands before a column and a klismos pouring a libation over an altar. Similar is ZV 2777 (pp. 85-86, pls. 66-67, 1-2) by the Bosanquet Painter (ca. 440 B.C.): a woman sits to right on a klismos and a woman before her holds a small chest. A goose stands on the ground. The rest of the lekythoi are the squat variety characterized by a globular body that rests on a ring base. Notable is ZV 2860 (pp. 89-90, pl. 69. 3-7) by the Karlsruhe Painter (ca. 460-450 B.C.): Artemis draws an arrow from her quiver and a deer gallops before her.

ASKOI (pp. 98-100; pls. 74, 7-9 and 75). The askos is a small rather flat round vessel used for pouring oil or wine. One or two figures decorate the topside of the vessel, a good example being Dr. 346 (pp. 98099, pls. 74, 8 and 75, 3-4; ca. 430 B.C.), which shows two satyrs dancing joyfully accompanied by a rock partridge ("ein Steinhuhn").

ARYBALLOS (pp. 101-102, pl. 76). The aryballos is a small spherical container for oil often used by athletes. Each of the three in this fascicule depicts the head of a woman (ca. 430-420 B.C.)

Eight indices conclude the text (pp. 103-111): 1, Concordance of inventory numbers, plates and supplementary plates; 2, Proveniences and previous owners; 3, Measurements; 4, Technical features; 5, Representations; 6, Inscriptions; 7, Painters and potters; 8, Drawings.

This exemplary new fascicule is a valuable contribution to the CVA series. Each vase is described in precise detail with regard to shape, ornament and subject; the comparative discussions are particularly informative; and the bibliography is up to date. The black and white illustrations are excellent with careful attention to both shape and details of figures. This fascicule was a pleasure to review, yet I have just one wish, namely that at least some of the vases could have been illustrated in color.

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