Corinthian Aryballos

Object Details

Title:

Corinthian Aryballos

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (Corinthian)

Place(s):

Corinth, Greece (Place created)

Date:

first quarter of 6th century B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Dimensions:

11.2 x 11.7 cm (4 7/16 x 4 5/8 in.)

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The Greek hero Herakles battles the Lernean Hydra on this Corinthian black-figure aryballos. In the second of the labors assigned by King Eurystheus, Herakles was required to destroy the Hydra, a monster with numerous snaky heads, one of which was immortal. Shown in profile, and accompanied by his companion Iolaos, Herakles grasps one head while stabbing at the creature with his sword. His protectress the goddess Athena stands behind the hero, gesturing her support with raised hands. Painted inscriptions identify all of these figures. Under the vase's handle, decorated with the head of a woman, a chariot with a charioteer stands waiting to carry off the victorious hero. An aryballos was a vessel used to store and carry perfumed oil, which was frequently used for bathing in the Greek world. Most Corinthian pottery at this time was decorated with rows of animals; narrative scenes such as this one are less common. Among scenes depicting Herakles' labors, however, the Lernean Hydra was a favorite with Corinthian vase-painters.

Provenance

Galerie Gunter Puhze (Freiburg, Germany)

- 1989

Galerie Nefer (Zurich, Switzerland), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1989.

1989 - 1992

Barbara Fleischman

and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992.

Exhibitions
A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
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
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1992." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 21 (1993) p. 106, no. 7.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 44.

Towne Markus, Elana. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 33.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001) p. 44.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002) p. 55.

Cohen, Beth, ed. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006) p. 152, fig. 2.

Arvanitaki, Anna. Hero and the Polis: The Example of Herakles in the Archaic Iconography of Corinth (Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 2006) p. 75, fig. 43a-d.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007) p. 25, ill.

Hall, Jonathan M. A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200-479 BCE. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2007. p. 115, fig. 5.3.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010) p. 57.

Padgett, Michael J. "The Serpent in the Garden: Herakles, Ladon, and the Hydra." In Approaching the Ancient Artifact. A. Avramidou and D. Demetriou, eds. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014). 44, footnote 2.