Nolan Amphora showing Athena and Hermes Artist, attributed to: Berlin Painter (Greek, Attic, ca. 500–ca. 460 B.C.)

ca. 480 B.C.

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Ancient Art

This Nolan Amphora was decorated using the red-figure technique by an artist known today as the Berlin Painter, widely regarded as one of the most talented vase painters of the early fifth century B.C. Unlike many other painters who preferred to demonstrate their mastery by creating complicated figural scenes, heavy with ornament, the Berlin Painter tended to simplify his compositions, frequently limiting them to a single figure set against a black ground. Such is the case here, where he has decorated one side of the vase with a depiction of Athena, standing with a spear in her left hand and a helmet in her right, and the other side with Hermes, wearing his characteristic winged sandals and holding a kerykeion (herald's staff) in his left hand. Representations of Athena holding rather than wearing her helmet are thought to show a "peaceful Athena," perhaps commemorating the peace following the victory of Athens over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis in 480 B.C.


Terracotta, red-figure with added red and dilute glaze


13 1/16 × 7 11/16 in. (33.2 × 19.5 cm)
Mouth: 5 13/16 in. (14.8 cm)
Foot: 3 9/16 in. (9 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Rebecca Darlington Stoddard

Accession Number



Late Archaic


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Dr. Paul Arndt, Munich; purchased for Yale University by Rebecca Darlington Stoddard, 1913
  • J. M. Padgett, ed., The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C. (Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum, 2017), 14, 77, fig. 20, 15
  • Susan B. Matheson, Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, Yale University Art Gallery I (Mainz, Germany: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 2011), 1–3, no. 1, pls. 1–2, 11.1–2, fig. 1
  • Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 62–63, fig. 49
  • Jenifer Neils, Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Athens, exh. cat. (Hanover, Germany: Hood Museum of Art, 1992), 153, no. 15
  • Elise K. Kenney, ed., Handbook of the Collections: Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 262, ill
  • Beazley Addenda: Additional References to ABV, ARV2 and Paralipomena, 2nd (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 192
  • Christa Bauchenss-Thüriedl, Erika Simon, and Ingrid Krauskopf, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, 8 vols. (Zurich: Artemis, 1981–97), vol. 5, p. 307, no. 205, pl. 217
  • Paul Zanker, Wandel der Hermesgestalt in der attischen Vasenmalerei (Bonn, Germany: R. Habelt, 1965), 69, n.313
  • Frederik Poulsen, Aus Einer Alten Etruskerstadt (Copenhagen: Fred. Høst & søn, 1927), 17, pl. 10
  • Professor Paul V. C. Baur, Catalogue of the Rebecca Darlington Stoddard Collection of Greek and Italian Vases at Yale University, 1st ed. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1922), 89, no. 133, ill
  • Jay Hambidge, Dynamic Symmetry: The Greek Vase (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1920), 57, fig. 19
  • Joseph Clark Hoppin, A Handbook of Attic Red-Figured Vases Signed by or Attributed to the Various Masters of the Sixth and Fifth Centuries B.C., 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1919), 63, no. 30, ill
  • Sir John Davidson Beazley, Attic Red Figure Vases in American Museums (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1918), 32
  • Professor Paul V. C. Baur, Preliminary Catalogue of the Rebecca Darlington Stoddard Collection of Greek and Italian Vases in Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1914), 16, no. 135, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

amphorae, mythology, utilitarian objects


Traces of a possible graffito in added red under the foot.

Technical metadata and APIs


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