Ancient Art
Artist, attributed to: Berlin Painter, Greek, Attic, ca. 500–ca. 460 B.C.

Nolan Amphora showing Athena and Hermes

ca. 480 B.C.

Terracotta, red-figure with added red and dilute glaze

33.2 x 19.5 cm (13 1/16 x 7 11/16 in.) mouth: 14.8 cm(5 13/16 in.) foot: 9 cm(3 9/16 in.)
Gift of Rebecca Darlington Stoddard
1913.133
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.
Culture: 
Greek, Attic
Period: 
Late Archaic
Classification: 
Containers - Ceramic
Geography: 
Made in Athens, Attica, Greece, Europe
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Dr. Paul Arndt, Munich; purchased for Yale University by Rebecca Darlington Stoddard, 1913

Bibliography: 

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.

Sir John Davidson Beazley, Attic Red Figure Vases in American Museums (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1918), 32.

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.

Jay Hambidge, Dynamic Symmetry: The Greek Vase (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1920), 57, fig. 19.

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.

Frederik Poulsen, Aus Einer Alten Etruskerstadt (Copenhagen: Fred. Høst & søn, 1927), 17, pl. 10.

Paul Zanker, Wandel der Hermesgestalt in der attischen Vasenmalerei (Bonn, Germany: R. Habelt, 1965), 69, n.313.

Susan B. Matheson and Jerome Jordan Pollitt, Greek Vases at Yale, 1st ed., exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1975), 52–54, no. 46, ill.

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.

Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 14–15, ill.

Susan B. Matheson, Greek Vases: A Guide to the Yale Collection, 1st ed. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988), 22–23, ill.

Beazley Addenda: Additional References to ABV, ARV2 & Paralipomena, 2nd (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 192.

Jenifer Neils, Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Athens, exh. cat. (Hanover, Germany: Hood Museum of Art, 1992), 153, no. 15.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 262, ill.

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.

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.

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.

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 such records is ongoing.