Fragmentary Attic Red-Figure Nestoris

Object Details

Title:

Fragmentary Attic Red-Figure Nestoris

Artist/Maker:

Attributed to Polygnotos (Greek (Attic), active 450 - 430 B.C.)

Culture:

Greek (Attic)

Place:

Athens, Greece (Place created)

Date:

about 440 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Object Number:

81.AE.183.2

Dimensions:

41.6 × 35.9 cm (16 3/8 × 14 1/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Anonymous gift

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The vessel takes the form of a low ovoid on a ring foot, with a narrow neck, broad round mouth and two high projecting handles that each connect to an upright plaque topped by a pair of white horns. The shape has few parallels in the Athenian repertoire, but can be seen as an attempt to emulate vessels produced in Southern Italy.

On the top of the broad lip are what might be pursuit scenes: adjacent to one handle is preserved most of an altar. On one side, a woman in chiton, himation and sakkos runs to right with arms outstretched, towards a partially preserved male (?) figure holding a scepter. On the right, a second woman, also in chiton, himation and sakkos, holding a floral element. On the other side, a partially preserved woman (peplos) moves to left, holding a floral element in her right hand and a hydria in her outstretched left. In the middle, fragments of a youth in a chlamys, holding a spear. To right, a woman in chiton, himation and sakkos moving to right but looking back with arm upraised.

The upper register of the body has scenes from the start and the beginning of the Trojan war. On one side, at left, Priam sits on an altar, holding a scepter. He raises a hand to his head as Polyxena (peplos, sakkos) flees toward him. She hold a phiale in her hand, as a jug falls to the ground. Behind her, Achilles pursues Troilus. The young boy wears a petasos and chlamys, and looks back with one arm outstretched towards his pursuer. Achilles is nude save for a high-crested helmet, spear, sword in its scabbard and hoplite shield (blazon: star). On the other side, Menelaus (high-crested helmet, cuirass, hoplite shield seen from within) drops his sword as he pursues Helen (at far right, with patterned chiton over himation). Aphrodite (peplos, crown, scepter) stands between the couple, and sends forth Eros from her right hand. A woman (peplos) runs away to left, and a fifth figure gestures at far left. Running around the lower register is a series of pursuit scenes.

Underneath the Menelaus and Helen scene, a young man with chlamys, petasos and spear chases after three women, variously wearing chiton and himation or peplos. Two hold a floral element. Further to the right, a partially preserved male figure with a staff gestures towards a woman (peplos) who runs towards him, dropping a fillet (?). Behind her, a winged male pursues three women (chiton and himation), some with floral elements in their hands. On the other side of a tree (located under one of the handles), two more women (chiton and himation) run away from the pursuing youth. One drops a filet; the other appears to hold a hydria. Each long upright handle is decorated with a single standing male figure, dressed in a himation. The more fully preserved figure carries a writing tablet.

Ornament: on the inside of the handle plaques, chequerboard pattern; on the outside, upright palmette complex. Above the youths on the handles, ovolo-band; below them, meander band and palmette complex. On the underside of the mouth, from top: ovolo band, large band of horizontal laurel leaves, band of stylized leaves, tongues (on the shoulder). Around the middle: ovolo band. At the base: rays.

Provenance
-1981

Private Collection, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1981.

Exhibitions
I Greci in Occidente (March 23 to October 15, 1996)
  • Palazzo Grassi (Venice), March 23 to October 15, 1996
L'art premier des Iapyges: Ceramique Antique d'Italie meridionale (October 23, 2002 to January 19, 2003)
  • Musée d'art et d'histoire de la Ville de Genève (Geneva), October 23, 2002 to January 19, 2003
Aphrodite and the Gods of Love (March 28, 2012 to May 26, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), March 28 to July 9, 2012
Bibliography

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