Caeretan Hydria

Object Details

Title:

Caeretan Hydria

Artist/Maker(s):

Attributed to Eagle Painter (Greek (Caeretan), active 530 - 500 B.C.)

Culture:

Greek (Caeretan)

Place(s):

Caere (?), Etruria (Place created)

Date:

about 525 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Dimensions:

44.6 x 33.4 cm (17 9/16 x 13 1/8 in.)

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On this black-figure hydria, the Greek hero Herakles battles the Lernean Hydra while a large crab nips at his foot. His companion Iolaos attacks from the other side, cutting off one of the monster's heads with a harpe or short curved sword. Two sphinxes flank the handle on the back of the vessel, and floral decoration covers the rest of the vase: an ivy tendril on the shoulder and a palmette and lotus frieze on the lower body.

This hydria is one of a small group of painted vases produced at Caere in Etruria. All these vases appear to come from one workshop, which may have had two artists. Caeretan hydriai display many of the basic elements of Greek vase-painting reinterpreted for an Etruscan market, using a more vivid range of colors and emphasizing the importance of floral ornament in the decoration. They are unusual in that the artist used a template for the floral decoration, a technique not otherwise known in Greek vase-painting.

Provenance
- 1935

Ludwig Pollak, 1868 - 1943 (Rome, Italy), sold to Count Antoine Seilern through Fritz Eichler (Vienna, Austria), 1935.

1935 - 1978

Count Antoine Seilern, 1901 - 1978 (Vienna, Austria, then, from 1939, London, England), by descent to his wife, Countess Henrietta Seilern, 1978.

1978 - 1982

Countess Henrietta Seilern [sold, Fine Antiquities: The Properties of the Estate of the late Count Antoine Seilern, Christie's, London, July 2, 1982, lot 252, to Galerie Hydra.]

1982 - 1983

Galerie Hydra (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Exhibitions
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
Monsters. Fantastic creatures of fear and myth. (December 19, 2013 to June 1, 2014)
  • Museo Nazionale Romano, (Rome), December 19, 2013 to June 1, 2014
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