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Ancient Art
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Artist Close to: Erlenmeyer Painter, Greek, Corinthian, active ca. 600–575 B.C.

Alabastron with Typhon

ca. 610–600 B.C.

Terracotta

26 cm (10 1/4 in.)
26 × 11.9 × 1.9 cm (10 1/4 × 4 11/16 × 3/4 in.)
The Harold A. Strickland, Jr., Collection
1998.23.2
Greek cities expanded their trade and overseas colonization in the eighth century B.C. The influence of Near Eastern cultures on Greece, brought about by these contacts and the importation of Syrian, Assyrian, and neo-Hittite art, provides the name “Orientalizing” to this period (ca. 720-625 B.C.). Corinthian artists drew upon the Oriental repertory of hybrid mythical beasts for their subjects, including sphinxes, sirens, and griffins. This influence led artists to portray even Greek mythical figures with additional fantastic attributes. Here Typhon, a sea deity typically shown with a snaky or sea-serpent tail, was also given elaborate wings by the artist. The figure has been painted in the black-figure technique, a new method invented in Corinth. The black- and red-slip silhouettes of the figure were first painted on the clay, and then incised with details and patterns of anatomy and drapery like Typhon’s wings, beard, and garment. The Corinthian style and black-figure technique strongly influenced Athenian pottery.
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Greek, Corinthian
Period: 
Archaic, Early Corinthian
Classification: 
Containers - Ceramics
Provenance: 

With Munzen und Medaillen (Herbert Cahn, dealer), Basel, Switzerland, by September 1994 [see note 1]; sold to Royal Athena Galleries, New York, September 1994; sold to Harold A. Strickland, Jr. (1915–1997), New York, January 1995; by inheritance to his children, Stephanie Strickland, Leslie Strickland, and Harold Strickland III, Vero Beach, Fla., September 3, 1997; transferred to the Estate of Harold A Strickland, Vero Beach, Fla., 1997; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1998

Note 1: According to information in the Gallery’s records, “Alabastron with Typhon” was in the possession of a private collection, Switzerland, prior to Munzen und Medaillen. Continued research, however, has been unable to identify the collection or substantiate this information provided.

This work appears on our "Antiquities and Archaeological Material with Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.
Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions, 1998,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1999): 197–98, ill.

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 204, pl. 190, ill.

Jack L. Benson, “Some Notes on Corinthian Vase Painters,” American Journal of Archaeology 60 (1956): 225–6.

N Icard-Gianolio, Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae VII, 7 (Zurich: Artemis, 1997), 147–151, pls. 112–113.

Paul Stephenson, The Serpent Column; A Cultural Biography (New York City: Oxford University Press, 2016), 52–54, fig. 2.4.

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.