GENEVA – NEW YORK 2015 / 30 / EN
PHOENIX ANCIENT ART SA – 2015 / 30
HEAD OF A CYCLADIC "IDOL"
TILE WITH CARTOUCHE OF THE PHARAOH SETI II
BLACK-FIGURE NECK AMPHORA (ATTRIBUTED TO THE GROUP OF BERKELEY 8.3376)
HANDLE DECORATED WITH THE HEAD OF A DOG
PORTRAIT OF A ROMAN ARISTOCRAT
BLACK-FIGURE NECK AMPHORA (ATTRIBUTED TO THE GROUP OF COMPIEGNE 988)
RITUAL VESSEL DECORATED WITH A COW AND A CALF
TORSO OF A YOUNG GOD OR A HERO
ANTEFIX REPRESENTING A YOUNG WOMAN
HEAD OF APHRODITE
STATUETTE IN THE SHAPE OF A CAMEL
STATUETTE OF A NILE PERCH
NOLAN AMPHORA (ATTRIBUTED TO THE ALKIMACHOS PAINTER)
HEAD OF A CYCLADIC "IDOL" Aegean (Cyclades Islands), early Bronze Age II (2500-2400 B.C.) Marble H: 13.9 cm Head of a statuette carved from a fine-grained marble and larger than the average size. The figurine is broken below the neck, where the breasts would have started. The elegant face features a regular, oval shape with a long, thin and prominent nose. Given its structure and proportions, this head would have been part of a well-attested class of figurines known as Cycladic "idols", the canonical "FAF (Folded-Arms Figurines)" statuettes. It belongs to the so-called "Spedos" variety, which represents the highest level of prehistoric Cycladic sculpture towards the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. Both simple and attractive in their design, these statuettes convey a seductive power to the modern artistic taste. Nevertheless, these idols - which come almost exclusively from necropolises, still keep many secrets, since their real purpose remains unknown. They have been successively seen as concubines for the deceased, mourners, substitutes for human sacrifices, nurses for the deceased, representations of revered ances-
tors, toys to be taken to the afterlife, figures enabling or helping the transition to the afterlife, etc.; they are also thought to have been connected with the Great Mother, a goddess of procreation and fertility, worshipped by the Neolithic in the Near East, in Anatolia and in Central Europe. In the light of recent studies on their polychromatic decoration, some scholars are now suggesting new hypothesis on the meaning of these statuettes. It seems that their remarkable stylistic unity would have concealed various purposes that cannot be clearly understood today. According to P. Getz-Gentle, the use of colors would allow us to attribute to these "idols" a much more active role than previously thought: these statuettes - scientific research attests that their polychromy was regularly completed or restored - seem to have been linked to fundamental stages in the life of their owner, as if they accompanied him throughout his life. They would have embodied a protective, definitely feminine and maternal being commanding natural phenomena that were most often mysterious to the ancients: the circle of life, the astronomical phenomena, the seasonal cycle and the fertility of the land, the sea, etc.
CONDITION Worn surface showing a brownish "patina"; ancient slanted break atop the head. No apparent traces of polychromy, internal variegation in the marble displays a faint line around the midsection of the head. PROVENANCE Ex-K. Lemos collection, Switzerland, 1970s; private collection, M.S., acquired from the previous owner in 2007. BIBLIOGRAPHY On Cycladic art in general : DOUMAS C.G., Early Cycladic Culture, The N.P. Goulandris Collection, Athens, 2002. GETZ-PREZIOSI P. (ed.), Early Cycladic Art in North American Collections, Richmond (Virginia), 1987. GETZ-GENTLE P., Personal Styles in Early Cycladic Sculpture, Madison, Wisconsin, 2001. GETZ-GENTLE P., Panorama de l’art des Cyclades, in CAUBET A. (ed.), Zervos et l’art des Cyclades, Vézelay, 2001, pp. 17-39. THIMME J. (ed.), Kunst der Kykladen, Karlsruhe, 1975. 6
â€? Both simple and attractive in their design, these statuettes convey a seductive power to the modern artistic taste.â€œ
TILE WITH CARTOUCHE OF THE PHARAOH SETI II Egyptian, New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1200-1194 B.C. Dark blue and yellow faience Dim: 4 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm This tile is in two fragments and is made of bichrome faience. It features a cartouche with ivory-colored hieroglyphs inlaid on a slate-blue ground and topped with double ostrich plumes, the full atef emblem (crown of Osiris), and the sun disk covered with yellow pigment. The piece is incised on the back with a motif resembling the head of Anubis, presumably the maker’s initial. Though designated as tiles, many similar tiles are qualiﬁed as votive objects; this is due to the fact that the pieces were covered with glaze on all surfaces.
The hieroglyphs indicate the name of the pharaoh Seti II, one of the last rulers of the 19th Dynasty, a period marked by court intrigues and short reigns. His throne name means "Powerful are the manifestations of Ra, the chosen one of Ra". Little is known about his brief reign; he continued to build and to restore buildings in Karnak, the most important religious complex of ancient Egypt, where several of his portrait statues and statue fragments have been found. An analogous tile was presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by J. Pierpont Morgan in 1917. CONDITION Superﬁcial surface wear. Chips on the bottom and the sides of the cartouche; top left corner of the atef emblem broken. Some yellow pigment missing from the sun disk. Slightly faded blue on the lower fragment with remnants of bitumen. PROVENANCE Ex- Mr. and Mrs. Goddard Dubois, USA, acquired in Egypt in 1900-1907. EXHIBITED San Diego Museum of Man, 1968, no. M218 and M219.
drawing from 1907
BIBLIOGRAPHY Faïences de l’antiquité: De l’Égypte à l’Iran, Paris, 2005, p. 81, no. 234; pp. 95-97. FURNIVAL W.J., Leadless Decorative Tiles, Faience, and Mosaic, Vol. 1, Stone (Staffordshire), 1904, p. 44. HAYES W.C., The Scepter of Egypt: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Vol. II, The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.), New York, 1959, p. 362. RUSSMANN E.R., Eternal Egypt: Masterworks of Ancient Art from the British Museum, London, 2001, pp. 178-179, no. 90.
BLACK-FIGURE NECK AMPHORA (ATTRIBUTED TO THE GROUP OF BERKELEY 8.3376) Attic, ca. 550-500 B.C. Ceramic H: 40.8 cm Side A: Athena, Heracles, and Hermes Side B: Dionysus, a silenus and a Maenad
The shape of this neck amphora (attributed to the Group of Berkeley 8.3376) is typical for its period and remarkable for its well balanced proportions. The ample, perfectly ovoid body with a deep shoulder narrows towards the bottom and rests on a wide and stable circular base. The arching triple handles join the cylindrical and slightly ﬂaring neck; the massive echinus mouth completes the composition. The mouth, handles and base are all painted in black glaze, as if providing the frame for the depictions. The amphora is decorated with both ornamental motifs and ﬁgurative scenes; the latter occupy almost the entire space of the body.
incisions at the lower edge. The divine hero also wears a short chiton. From his right shoulder, a baldric hangs down to hold the quiver, while a club is raised over his left shoulder.
The obverse of the amphora presents three ﬁgures. Athena stands between Heracles and Hermes. The head of the goddess is turned left towards Heracles. Her face and bare feet are painted white, according to the custom adopted in Attic black-ﬁgure vase-painting to indicate the female ﬂesh. Represented in proﬁle, the face has a narrow, almond-shaped eye, seen as if from the front. The goddess is clad in an ankle-length garment with vertical folds and red dots. A large shield completely covers the upper part of her body with the aegis; its snakes writhe below the edge of the shield. A hippocampus is depicted on it as the blazon; its serpentine body is white, while the rim of the shield is accentuated by red, thus producing a strong decorative effect. The goddess of war wears a high-crested helmet and carries a spear. There is a deer beside her.
On the reverse of the amphora, Dionysus is represented between his companions, a silenus and a maenad. The god of wine wears an ankle-length chiton painted in white and a himation decorated with red dots, whose edges create the characteristic zigzag folds modeled by incised lines. On his head, a wreath of ivy leaves is also incised. Dionysus raises a large kantharos in his left hand and holds grapevines in his right. He looks over his shoulder at the maenad who moves towards the left and also looks back. She is clad in an ankle-length dotted peplos and a panther skin. Her left arm is lowered towards the head of the deer shown behind her. A silenus with a long beard on the right of the group moves towards the left and looks away. He is shown naked, with a particularly broad chest. His beast-like aspect is marked by the cloven hooves, the horse tail and ears.
Heracles, who is on the left, faces Athena; his carefully engraved eye shows the iris and the pupil. The beard is marked by red and completed by short incised lines. Red is again used to color the hip-hugging garment decorated with
As in the obverse scene, the painter employs the same type of composition with three ﬁgures. The main ﬁgure in the center is ﬂanked by the two lateral ﬁgures, while the opposing directions of their heads and feet bring a greater dynamic
Hermes moves towards the right and looks back; his feet and head are directed in the opposite direction. The god wears a short chiton and a chlamys that wraps his left hand and creates the cascading folds. He also wears a petasos and winged boots, while he holds his kerykeion in his right hand. The treatment of the eye is similar to that of Heracles. White is used to highlight the decoration of the chiton. Red is used to mark the beard.
” Dionysus is represented between his companions, a silenus and a maenad. The god of wine raises a large kantharos in his left hand and holds grapevines in his right.“
to the symmetrical structure. The technique is based on the mixed use of incised lines and additional red and white coloring over the black glaze. The decoration of the vessel is completed by various ornamental motifs. A palmette lotus chain covers the neck; alternating red and black tongues are painted on the shoulder; there are rays above the foot, with a lotus bud chain above them; a quatrefoil of palmettes, lotus buds and tendrils is painted below each handle. CONDITION Intact and well preserved. Surface slightly worn; some scratches; chip on the mouth. Minor ﬂaking of glaze and added paint. PROVENANCE Formerly E. P. Warren collection (1860-1928), Oxford, UK; Sotheby's London, Estate of E.P. Warren Sale, 27 May 1929, lot 36; Albert E. Gallatin collection, New York, 1929; thence by descent. BIBLIOGRAPHY Beazley Archive Pottery Database, no. 302911. BEAZLEY J.D., Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters, Oxford, 1956, p. 391, no. 3. BEAZLEY J.D., Paralipomena: Additions to "Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters" and to "Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters", 2nd edition, Oxford, 1971, p. 172. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Hoppin and Gallatin Collections, Paris, 1926, p. 86, pl. 37, 1a-b. GALLATIN A.E., The Pursuit of Happiness, New York, 1950, p. 51. 12
HANDLE DECORATED WITH THE HEAD OF A DOG Roman, 1st − 2nd century A.D. Agate L: 10.4 cm The semi-translucency and contrasting combination of colors (bluish-white, milky white, yellow and brown, green and grey) make this stone piece extremely attractive. The unusual design brings together the figurative representation and the abstract geometric form. The head of the Molossian dog shapes the tip of the handle, while the diagonal grooves constitute its body; the ridges of the dog’s collar unite both parts. Characteristic is the narrow muzzle of the dog, which perfectly suits the long shape of the piece. The incised lines mark the dog’s mane and the details of anatomy (eyes, nostrils, mouth). The entire surface is perfectly smoothed by polishing that demonstrates the skill of the craftsman.
of Mithridates VI, King of Pontus, in the city of Talauri in 65 B.C. (Appian, The Mithridatic Wars, XII, 115), they found 2,000 drinking cups made of onyx welded with gold. Cleopatra impressed Mark Antony and his ofﬁcers by arranging a royal banquet in his honor, "in which the service was entirely of gold and jeweled vessels made with exquisite art" (Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, IV, 147f.). By the time of Augustus, the stone workshops had settled in Rome, where they met the growing number of important commissions. Some surviving agate vessels have handles with a simple proﬁle, whereas completely preserved animal-form handles are rare. Such objects are justly admired for their beauty and sophisticated modeling.
It can be suggested that the piece was a handle of a knife or a spoon; another possibility would be that the piece was attached to a patera, a shallow libation bowl with a straight handle. Vessels of various shapes made from semiprecious stones, gold and silver were highly appreciated by the members of the ruling houses, priests and the wealthy international clientele in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Speciﬁc jugs, bowls and ladles were used during religious ceremonies to make libations. Drinking vessels with or without handles, such as cups, bowls, goblets, skyphoi and kantharoi, made up part of the most prestigious table services and often served as diplomatic gifts.
In the Mediterranean world, agate had been popular since the Minoan period. The Greek philosopher and naturalist Theophrastus (On Stones, V, 31) mentions that the name of the stone was derived from the Achates River in Sicily, where it was ﬁrst found, and that it was sold at a high price. Pliny the Elder (Natural History, 37.54) reports on its many varieties and their markings found in different locations; at this time, moss agate was known among the agates brought from India; Pliny the Elder also states that agate was greatly valued in older times but was cheap during his time. This probably should not be taken for granted, as Seneca the Younger, his contemporary, includes such gemstone cups in what he calls "trophies of Luxury” and complains about the wealthy Romans’ excessive extravagance in their use (On Benefits, VII, 9).
Historians left records of such sumptuous possessions. When the Romans took the treasury
CONDITION Entirely preserved. Superﬁcial wear on the surface. PUBLISHED Hardstones from the Ancient World, New York, 6th–16th December 2000, no. 33. PROVENANCE Old british collection, London, 1990s. BIBLIOGRAPHY BALL S.H., A Roman Book on Precious Stones, Los Angeles, 1950. BÜHLER H.-P., Antike Gefässe aus Edelstein, Mainz/Rhine, 1973. GASPARRI C., A proposito di un recente studio sui vasi antichi in pietra dura, in Archeologia classica, 27, 1975, pp. 350-377. KOZLOFF A.P. (ed.), Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection, Cleveland-Mainz/Rhine, 1981, p. 192, no. 179. PADGETT J.M., A Chalcedony Statuette of Herakles, in Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, 54, 1, 1995, pp. 5-6, nos. 30 and 37. SLAVAZZI F., Vasi in pietra dura nell’età ellenistico-romana, in ZANETTIN B. (ed.), Cristalli e gemme: Realtà fisica e immaginario, simbologia, techniche e arte, Venice, 2003, pp. 437-458. 15
PORTRAIT OF A ROMAN ARISTOCRAT Roman, second half of the 1st century A.D. Marble H: 36.9 cm This sculpture was carved from a high-quality marble, respecting life-size proportions. It is the head of a male ﬁgure, which ends at the upper chest just under the neck. Below, one can observe that the piece was not entirely completed and shows the notches resulting from the grinding during the carving process. The circular cut at the neckline and the marks on the rim suggest that the sculpture may have been inserted into a bust made of another (more noble?) material, as was often the case in the Roman Imperial period. The sculpture is detailed and realistic. The head is turned a little to the left, as evidenced by the folds in the neck. Seen in proﬁle, the Adam’s apple is clearly visible; the pointed chin is directed forward and a small skin bulge accentuates the throat below. A slight bump marks the distinction between the bridge and the wings of the nose, while the high cheekbones are well deﬁned. The ears are beautifully modeled (auricles perfectly detailed, from the upper cartilaginous areas to the soft lobes). Seen from the front, the eyebrows are thick and widely arched; light eyelids delineate the
almond-shaped eyes, with the upper eyelids drooping slightly. The lips are thin and closed, with a wave-shaped undulation, featuring an almost expressionless, gentle though ﬁrm manner. The groove between the nose and the upper lip is clearly visible, while the horizontal dimple is well marked between the lower lip and the chin. The cavity of the upper trachea is delicately recessed. The hairstyle is extremely structured. From the crown, tight locks undulating in waves are clearly delineated in rows. A group of three or four locks is delicately arranged in front of the ears. Typologically, the overall treatment of the sculpture and its characteristics enable us to directly link this production to the Julio-Claudian period. Some scholars even relate it to portraits of Emperor Nero when he was eighteen years old (Nero reigned between 37 and 68 A.D.). Given the stylistic similarities between these sculptures, one can assume that our example portrayed a person of note, who wished to be represented with the ideal and distinctive features of the Neronian productions.
Very well preserved. Minor damage and chips; upper part of the left ear lost. Concretions visible on the right side of the head. PROVENANCE
Ex-Gregory S. Stroganoff collection (1829-1910), Palazzo Stroganoff, Rome, acquired between 1865 and 1910; ex-private collection, France; Drouot-Richelieu, Paris, June 13th, 2003, no. 100. PUBLISHED
POLLAK L. and MUNOZ A., Pièces de choix de la collection du Comte Grégoire Stroganoff à Rome, Rome, 1912, pl. XVI. POULSEN V., Les portraits romains: Volume. I, République et dynastie julienne, Copenhagen, 1973, p. 125, no. 97 (close parallel for our example). BIBLIOGRAPHY
GIULIANO A. (ed.), Museo Nazionale Romano: Le sculture, I/9, Rome, 1988, pp. 161-163, no. R117. HEKLER A., Greek and Roman Portraits, New York, 1912. JOHANSEN F., Roman Portraits I: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1994, pp. 224-225. 18
â€? At the time, it was a common desire to be represented as the reigning Emperor, Nero (between 37 and 68 A.D.).â€œ
BLACK-FIGURE NECK AMPHORA (ATTRIBUTED TO THE GROUP OF COMPIEGNE 988) Attic, ca. 550-500 B.C. Ceramic H: 41 cm Side A: The Judgment of Paris: Hermes leads the procession with Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera; Side B: Dionysus and two sileni The shape of this neck amphora (attributed to the Group of Compiègne 988) is typical for its period and remarkable for its well balanced proportions. The ample, perfectly ovoid body with a deep shoulder narrows toward the bottom and rests on a wide and stable circular base. The arching triple handles join the cylindrical and slightly ﬂaring neck; the massive echinus mouth completes the composition. The mouth, handles and base are all painted in black glaze, as if providing the frame for the depictions. The amphora is decorated with both ornamental motifs and ﬁgurative scenes; the latter occupy almost the entire space of the body. The obverse of the amphora presents four ﬁgures participating in the Judgment of Paris scene. The bearded Hermes leads the procession, moving towards the right and looking back at the goddesses. Apart from wearing a petasos and winged boots, he holds a staff and is clad in a chlamys decorated with red dots over a short chiton. The treatment of the man’s eye is characteristic of the painter’s style, i.e. an engraved circle with the indication of the pupil. Of the three goddesses facing him, Athena is placed at the center of the composition. She wears an ankle-length peplos and a dotted himation, its ample folds thrown over her left arm forming a zigzag pattern. The goddess of war also wears a high-crested helmet and carries a spear. There is an owl in her left hand, the symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Aphrodite and Hera are represented behind, standing beside each other, each clad in an ankle-
length chiton and a dotted himation. Hera holds a scepter. The faces, arms and bare feet are painted white, according to the custom adopted in Attic black-ﬁgure vase-painting to indicate the female ﬂesh. Represented in proﬁle, the faces each have an almond-shaped eye, seen as if from the front. On the reverse of the amphora, Dionysus is represented between his companions, two sileni. The god of wine wears a white ankle-length chiton and a dotted himation. He raises a kantharos in his left hand and holds grapevines in his right. The sileni move towards him, the one on the left carrying a wine skin in his lowered right hand. All three ﬁgures wear wreaths. As is typical of the technique of Attic vase-painting of the period, the painter employs incised lines and additional red and white coloring over the black glaze. His individual style is recognizable in the brisk incisions especially noticeable in the indication of the female lips and eyebrows and the foliage of the wreaths. The beards of the men are marked by red and completed by short incised lines. Red is again used to highlight the long horse tails of the sileni. The extensive use of red continues in the female ﬁllets and the decoration above the scenes. The decoration of the vessel is completed by various ornamental motifs. A palmette lotus chain covers the neck; alternating red and black tongues are painted on the shoulder; there are rays above the foot, with a lotus bud chain above them; a quatrefoil of palmettes, lotus buds and tendrils is painted below each handle. There is a grafﬁto on the underside of the foot.
” At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the goddess, Eris, threw the apple of discord at the feet of Hera, Aphrodite and Athena, with the words marked "To the most beautiful". Zeus appointed Pâris to decide between the goddesses.“
CONDITION Recomposed from large fragments; with minor ﬁlls. Surface slightly worn; some scratches. Minor ﬂaking of glaze and added paint. PROVENANCE Formerly E.P. Warren Collection (1860-1928), Oxford; Sotheby’s, London, Estate of E.P. Warren Sale, May 27, 1929, Lot 36; Albert E. Gallatin Collection, New York, 1929; thence by descent. BIBLIOGRAPHY BEAZLEY J.D., Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters, Oxford, 1956, p. 285, no. 5. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Hoppin and Gallatin Collections, Paris, 1926, p. 86, pl. 37, 2a-b. GALLATIN A.E., The Pursuit of Happiness, New York, 1950, p. 51. 24
RITUAL VESSEL DECORATED WITH A COW AND A CALF Sumerian, ca. 3000 B.C. Limestone H: 10.3 cm − L: 8.3 cm This vessel is a rare and beautiful example from the known group of similar type. Made of soft and fragile limestone, it misses nothing from its original representation. The object was designed as a combination of container and its ﬁgural support, which presents the carved images of two animals, a cow and a calf. The shape of the vessel is simple and elegant; the ovoid form is wide at the shoulder and has a short neck and a ﬂat, perfectly circular rim. The surface inside is smooth, but it is not clear whether the vessel contained any liquid and whether there was a stopper (the stone is rather porous, so it was probably used as a container for some hard substances). While the vessel is set on the neck of the recumbent cow, there is also a straight support at the side of the animal, as if to complete the stability of the piece. The cow is shaped as a three-dimensional ﬁgurine. The animal’s anatomy is carefully rendered; in addition, the details are modeled with incised lines that delineate the horns, large eyes and muzzle. The cow lowers its head towards the calf; the latter appears suspended between the muzzle and the legs of its mother. The composition thus represents the cow aiming to protect the calf and their unity. Both animals are shown in a pose of comfortable rest, each with its legs tucked under its body and its tail passing under the left rear leg and appearing on the ﬂank.
It is attested that certain animals were very popular in Sumerian iconography, particularly the lion and the bull. Individual ﬁgurines shaped as a recumbent bull, cow or calf were also sometimes worn as amulets. The present piece was used to place offerings in order to ensure the continuing goodwill of the deity. The name of the deity is not known to us, but the overall concept of fertility and motherly protection is clearly indicated in the design of the vessel’s support. One can only guess whether it is dedicated to Ninhursag, the Sumerian mother-goddess, the tutelary deity responsible for the birth of many gods and goddesses. CONDITION Complete and in an excellent state of preservation. Surface clean and slightly weathered. Some chips on the rim. Minor natural loss of crystals at the back of the animal. PROVENANCE Private collection; acquired from Mr. Elie Boustros, Beirut, Lebanon, in 1980. BIBLIOGRAPHY ARUZ J. (ed.), Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus, New York, 2003, pp. 16-17 and 48-50. PARROT A., Sumer: The Dawn of Art, New York, 1961, pp. 76-78. WOOLLEY C.L., The Development of Sumerian Art, London, 1935, pp. 58-60.
TORSO OF A YOUNG GOD OR A HERO Roman, 1st − 2nd century A.D. Marble H: 16.5 cm This torso belonged to a marble statuette, which would have reached a little more than 50 cm in height when complete. It represents a young adult male standing in a relaxed pose; his athletic body is well proportioned. He is naked, except for a mantle (chlamys?) thrown over his left shoulder and crossing his back diagonally to the right hip. The fabric has rounded and deep folds that highlight the thickness of the cloak. With a clearly indicated contrapposto stance, the weight of the body would have been supported by the right leg, while the left leg was bent; the right shoulder is slightly lowered. The head, made separately, was attached by a tenon and there is evidence that it was tilted to the right. The arms probably fell along the chest. There is no indication as to whether the elbows were bent towards the viewer or whether the man was holding attributes. There are no traces of legs; the lower limit just below the navel is clean and regular, as if this torso was primarily intended to be attached to legs made separately. The workmanship is of the highest quality. Despite superﬁcial wear and a light patina, one can see that the artist rendered the proportions and volumes in a very sensitive manner and perfectly expressed the youthfulness of the ﬁgure. The muscular development is subtle, not too pronounced; this does not necessarily look like the physique of a great hero, a valiant warrior or an athlete in the prime of life.
Unfortunately, no speciﬁc element enables us to identify the young man represented here. He was certainly inspired by Classical iconography, particularly because of his physical attitude that imitates the characteristic balance and symmetry created by Polykleitos around the mid-5th century B.C. and widely copied by Greek and, later, Roman artists. Among the many works that can be related to this statuette, one should mention the famous Diomedes statue (5th century B.C.), now in the Naples National Archaeological Museum, and, with regard to the position of the upper right limb, the Meleager of Skopas (ca. 340 B.C.). Only the arrangement of the mantle at the back differs here. However, given the soft and ﬁnely nuanced anatomical rendering of the body, one may also imagine that the statuette represented a young god, like Hermes (the chlamys on the shoulder is an attribute of that god), or even Apollo or Dionysus; indeed, these three Olympian gods were often depicted as young men with supple and athletic bodies, rather than with overdeveloped muscles.
” Among the many works that can be related to this statuette, one should mention the famous Diomedes statue, now in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.“
CONDITION Surface very well preserved, despite some wear. PROVENANCE Ex-private collection, Montreux, Switzerland, acquired between 1960-1980; thence by descent; acquired on the Swiss art market in 2013. BIBLIOGRAPHY On the imitation of Classical sculptural types, see: ZANKER P., Klassizistische Statuen, Mainz/Rhine, 1974. On the statues of Diomedes and Meleager, see: STEWART A., Greek Sculpture: An Exploration, New Haven-London, 1990, nos. 439-440 and 548-549. On the iconography of Hermes, see: Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), Vol. V, Zurich-Munich, 1990, pl. 273 ff. 30
ANTEFIX REPRESENTING A YOUNG WOMAN Etruscan, late 6th − early 5th century B.C. Terracotta H: 48.5 cm An architectural element in buildings, the anteﬁx originally capped the end of a row of roof tiles and was especially designed for the decoration and protection of a cornice. At the back of this object, the outline of the semicircular tile, whose purpose was to mask the open ends of the curved tiles which alternated with ﬂat ones, is still visible. In Etruria, from the second half of the 6th century B.C., these architectural elements gained in importance, until they became real statuettes at the turn of the century, depicting a human ﬁgure (like this example), mythological creatures or a group of two ﬁgures carved in the round. Our anteﬁx, which is of remarkable artistic quality, represents a female ﬁgure carved to the lower thighs. She is positioned on a square base decorated with a checkerboard. The back of the statuette is almost ﬂat and undecorated, since it was not meant to be visible to the viewer. Between the shoulder blades of the woman, there is a fragment of the tenon that guaranteed the stability of the ﬁgure (the other end of the tenon was attached to the tile). Typologically, this woman recalls the Greek korai that were familiar to the Etruscans thanks to the intense commercial exchanges between the two regions. She is depicted upright in a frontal position; with her left hand, she holds the fabric of her garment at hip level; her right arm is bent and raised laterally.
The young woman is dressed in a long, brownish-red chiton surmounted by a white shawl with zigzag folds; the fabric is adorned with swastikas and is bordered with a meander. The shoulders of the woman are also covered with a small cloak that is placed over her head like a veil. The rich adornment includes a semicircular diadem decorated with a garland of leaves and a ﬁne necklace with pendants. Unfortunately, no element enables us to identify the woman with a precise mythological ﬁgure. She differs, by her static attitude and by her typology, from the images of maenads, which are a leitmotiv in contemporary Etruscan architectural terracotta. It is tempting to think here of a deity (Turan, the Etruscan Venus?), but the question remains entirely open. In the framework of contemporary ﬁgural anteﬁxes (which generally represent a group composed of a maenad and a satyr dancing, or even mythological creatures like the harpies or beings provided with a ﬁshtail), the present iconography is quite rare. The modeling and the style of the carving, however, have many parallels in the Italic world (cf. temples at Satricum, Falerii Veteres, Lanuvium, Veii, Caere, Rome, etc.). This regular presence of similar artistic features in the most important urban centers led M. Sprenger and G. Bartoloni to suggest that the coroplasts (craftsmen that produced terracotta pieces) were itinerant artisans, just as the architects probably were, who moved between various projects with their molds ready for use.
” This woman recalls the Greek korai that were familiar to the Etruscans thanks to the intense commercial exchanges between the two regions.“
CONDITION Complete and in excellent condition; minor chips; one arm reglued. Blackish-brown, red and creamy white paint very well preserved, though slightly faded in places. PROVENANCE Ex- F.C. private collection, Switzerland; Ex- Swiss private collection, acquired from above in 1991. BIBLIOGRAPHY CRISTOFANI M., Civiltà degli Etruschi, Milano, 1985, pp. 267-268, no. 10.13 (temple at Satricum). GIGLIOLI G.Q., L’arte etrusca, Milan, 1935, pl. 182 ff. SPRENGER M. and BARTOLONI G., Die Etrusker: Kunst und Geschichte, Munich, 1977, p. 123, nos. 137-138 (temple at Falerii Veteres). TRUE M. and HAMMA K. (eds.), A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, Malibu, 1994, pp. 195-197, no. 92. 34
CEREMONIAL AXEHEAD Hittite, 14th − 13th century B.C. Bronze H: 73 cm Like a sculpture in the round, this large-scale ceremonial axehead is elaborately ornamented with ﬁgures in high relief. On each side of the axehead is a group of ﬁve human-headed animals, all similar with prominent horns and wearing tall pointed caps. The lower two creatures stand on the head and shoulders of a lion and the upper three are positioned in front of two spikes that ﬂank a square projection in the center. Raptor-like protomes extend outward from the sides of the spikes, while similar raptor-shaped heads project from each side of the curved blade, where it joins with the cylindrical form encircling the shaft. The shaft-hole axehead considered here is a close parallel, similar in both form and style, to the notable bronze axehead (Berlin Vorderasiatisches Museum, VA 15652) found with a hoard of objects from the vicinity of Şarkişla in eastern Cappadocia. Like the Şarkişla axe, our example was made by the lost-wax process and is decorated with details added by cold-working after it was cast. On both axeheads, the elaborate religious and mythological content of their iconography and the complex overall design render them unsuitable as weapons and suggest a ritual function. The large size of the axehead considered here leaves no doubt that it served as a ritual object. An ornate shaft-hole axe held by the warrior god on a relief from the King’s Gate at Hattusa
demonstrates that these axes served as symbols of power. Splendid examples of bronze-casting, such axes are often products of Hittite palace patronage and ﬁt into the general class of objects associated with Anatolian gods. They functioned as expressions of both royal and religious iconography during the 2nd millennium B.C. Like the much later "magic" or "supernatural" swords of the Medieval period, such weapons were closely associated with the gods and were generally depicted in religious rituals or ceremonies. Shaft-hole axes form a class of objects ubiquitous in Anatolia and neighboring regions (Mesopotamia, Syria, Greece, Iran), going back to the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age). They were continuous throughout the Early Bronze Age and proliferated during the Iron Age in areas of the Near East. However, it was not until the Hittite period in Anatolia that weapons appeared suffused with sacred powers and were depicted with deities in fantastic and often obscure imagery. Thus, in the case of the Hattusa relief, the spiked axe held by the warrior god may be construed as the supreme weapon of destruction. Also closely associated with the divine are the composite hybrid creatures, part human and part animal, adorning ceremonial weapons. The powerful totemic images of such hybrid creatures served to associate these special weapons with the attributes of a speciﬁc deity.
CONDITION The piece is intact; there are few scratches; the surface is worn and covered with a smooth patina consisting of copper oxide, especially seen on the interior side of the shaft. PROVENANCE Ex-US private collection, New York, acquired in 1991. BIBLIOGRAPHY ARUZ J., BENZEL K. and EVANS J. (eds.), Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C., New York, 2008, p. 171, ﬁg. 53 (relief of the warrior god holding an ornate shaft-hole axe); pp. 179-180, no. 105 (Şarkişla axe). BETANCOURT P.P. and FERRENCE S.C. (eds.), Metallurgy: Understanding How, Learning Why, Philadelphia, 2011, pp. 265-272. BITTEL K., Die Hethiter: Die Kunst Anatoliens vom Ende des 3. bis zum Anfang des 1. Jahrtausends vor Christus, Munich, 1976, pp. 297-298, no. 341 (Şarkişla axe). DESHAYES J., Les outils de bronze, de l’Indus au Danube (IVe-IIe millénaire), Paris, 1960. MAXWELL-HYSLOP K.R., Western Asiatic Shaft-Hole Axes, in Iraq, 9, 1949, pp. 90-129. MUSCARELLA O.W., Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988, pp. 189-191, nos. 304-305. PORADA E., An Anatolian Axhead in the Honolulu Academy of Arts, in EMRE K. et al., Anatolia and the Ancient Near East, Ankara, 1989, pp. 441-445. 38
HEAD OF APHRODITE Hellenistic Greek, late 2nd − early 1st century B.C. Marble H: 25 cm This head of the goddess Aphrodite is inclined to the left, the face possessing a serene, downward-looking gaze. The hair is conﬁned by a ﬁllet wound about the head and the long hair is parted above the middle of the forehead, with thick, softly modeled tresses carried down low at the sides and covering the tips of the ears. The uppermost strands on each side of the head are drawn up to form part of a loosely tied knot above the top of the head. The remaining hair towards the back is drawn into another knot, a chignon, formed at the back of the head below the crown. The nose is delicate and well shaped, the forehead is ﬂat and the eyes, neither deeply set nor wide open, contribute to the face’s dreamy countenance. The sensitive modeling of the slightly parted lips adds to this overall softness of expression. There are copious traces of red pigment visible on the hair. Marble sculpture was frequently colored, a fact proven when Praxiteles was asked which of his works he liked the most; he replied, "Those that Nikias painted." One of the closest parallels for this marble head of Aphrodite is the famous marble representation of the goddess now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, known as the "Bartlett Head" after its donor (which also had traces of red pigment on the hair). A second ﬁne example for the type is the marble head of Aphrodite in Munich.
Feminine charm, grace and delicacy could not ﬁnd a more perfect expression than that visible in this particular representation of Aphrodite. The marble head, along with the comparable ones in Boston and Munich, is stylistically related to works by the famous Late Classical sculptor Praxiteles. Born around 400 B.C., he was active throughout most of the century, from about 380 B.C onward. While original sculptures by his hand have been lost to us, a long and illustrious career is documented by eight inscribed statue bases and over one hundred literary sources, ranging from the Hellenistic through the Byzantine periods. One of the most notable references to the sculptor is recorded by Pliny the Elder (Natural History, 36.20-21). In spite of his fame for the creation of marble sculpture, works known from antiquity are almost equally distributed between bronzes and marbles, among which are representations of both deities and mortals. Praxiteles died around 325 B.C., but his canon for the representation of male and female ﬁgures, especially female nudes, remained inﬂuential for the rest of antiquity. His female ﬁgures, those of Aphrodite in particular, are considered among the primary creative achievements of this Athenian master. He is the undisputed creator of the greatest of all images of this goddess, the Aphrodite of Cnidus. This representation of a naked Aphrodite about to bathe was for centuries the most renowned image of the goddess of love and the embodiment of womanly charm.
â€? Aphrodite proved to be one of the most appropriate subjects for the work of Praxiteles, namely a goddess whose form and expression embodied xaris, the compelling charm and spiritual grace of Praxitelean sculpture.â€?
Aphrodite played a leading role in both Greek myth and religious ritual. While there is no agreement on her historical origins, the ancient Greeks thought of her as coming from the east. In the literary record, she is often given the epithet "the Cyprian," and Paphos in Cyprus was the center of one of her most famous cults. In the Greek language, "aphrodisiac" refers to the act of love; the name of the goddess is used in Homer’s Odyssey with the same connotation. In Greece, she was worshipped primarily as a ﬁgure presiding over sexuality and reproduction and was thus associated with marriage. This allowed Aphrodite to be identiﬁed with the fecundity of the earth, since the Greeks perceived a bond to exist between human fertility and the fruitfulness of the land. Ancient literature also celebrates the power of love as the dominion of Aphrodite. Among the gods, Ares, Adonis, Hermes and Dionysus are identiﬁed as her lovers, as well as the mortal Anchises. As viewed in art and literature throughout Antiquity, Aphrodite proved to be one of the most appropriate subjects for the work of Praxiteles, namely a goddess whose form and expression embodied xaris, the compelling charm and spiritual grace of Praxitelean sculpture. 44
CONDITION Complete and in an excellent state of preservation; tip of the nose and some of the hair at the crown missing. Concretions visible on the face. PROVENANCE Ex-British private collection; American private collection, Colorado, USA, collected in the 1980-1990s; US private collection, New Jersey, USA, acquired in 2007. BIBLIOGRAPHY CHARBONNEAUX J., MARTIN R. and VILLARD F., Hellenistic Art, 350-50 BC, New York, 1973, p. 302, no. 329. COMSTOCK M.B. and VERMEULE C.C., Sculpture in Stone: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 1976, p. 39, no. 55. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), Vol. II, Zurich-Munich, 1984, s.v. Aphrodite, nos. 411 and 1061. On Praxiteles, see: STEWART A., Greek Sculpture: An Exploration, New Haven-London, 1990, pp. 277-281.
STATUETTE IN THE SHAPE OF A CAMEL Western Asian (Bactria), late 3rd − early 2nd millennium B.C. (ca. 2000 B.C.) Bronze H: 6.5 cm This statuette is almost ﬂat; barely hollow on the inside, it is carved in very low relief on the main side. It represents a camel, the ideal animal for transporting both people and goods in several Central Asian regions (modern-day Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, eastern Iran). It can be easily identiﬁed by its most obvious anatomical feature, the two humps on the back that store fat, which give the animal energy when resources are scarce. Camels can travel long distances over extended periods of time (approximately one month) without eating or drinking. They are therefore perfectly adapted for the transport of heavy loads in an arid climate. The date of camel domestication is still under discussion; although camel bones and wool have been found in 5th millennium B.C. archeological sites, camels were probably not used as pack animals prior to the 1st millennium B.C. Despite its miniature size, the statuette has rich and accurate anatomical details, such as the features of the head, the coat on the neck, the thin legs (hairy on the upper parts only) and the short tail; only the humps are highly stylized and somewhat stiff. The openwork decoration between the humps and the feet, reinforced with horizontal bars, would have allowed the ornament to be sewn or to be attached with a small strap to its ancient support, the nature of which is unknown (a piece of wooden furniture, a garment or a belt, the harness of a pack animal?).
It is not surprising that camels frequently appear in the iconography of the above-mentioned regions, found mainly as bronze statuettes and more rarely on kohl vases or as pin heads. Their importance in the economy of Western Asian cultures will be conﬁrmed much later by the sculptural decoration of the Apadana at Persepolis, where, in the procession of the subdued peoples, the Bactrians offer camels to the great Median king. CONDITION Complete and in very good condition. Surface partially covered with calcareous concretions. PROVENANCE Private collection; acquired from Yazdani Galleries, London, in the early 1990s. BIBLIOGRAPHY AMIET P., Art of the Ancient Near East, New York, 1980, p. 426, no. 685 (reliefs of the Apadana at Persepolis). GHIRSHMAN R., The Art of Ancient Iran, LondonNew York, 1964, p. 75, no. 99 (pin head). LIGABUE G. and SALVATORI S. (eds.), Bactria: An Ancient Oasis Civilization from the Sands of Afghanistan, Venice, 1988, p. 215, no. 81 (kohl vase, the camel has no humps). MAHBOUBIAN H., Art of Ancient Iran: Copper and Bronze, London, 1997, p. 37, no. 3. MUSCARELLA O.W., Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988, p. 268, no. 359. PITTMAN H., Art of the Bronze Age: Southeastern Iran, Western Central Asia, and the Indus Valley, New York, 1984, p. 42, ﬁgs. 10-11.
STATUETTE OF A NILE PERCH Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th – 20th Dynasty, ca. 1550-1077 B.C. Bronze and gold L: 17.8 cm This statuette is a most remarkable piece of ancient Egyptian animalistic art. It combines the naturalistic look of carefully represented ﬁsh anatomy with a striking decorative effect. All scales and ﬁns were deeply incised and inlaid with a thick layer of gold; many inlays have survived. The head was also covered with gold; some foil is still visible above the right eye, which is made of a black polished stone. The body of the ﬁsh is connected to the rectangular base by the tip of the caudal ﬁn and a support set in front of the pelvic ﬁns. The double waves incised and ﬁlled with gold on both long sides of the base symbolize the aquatic environment; the ﬁsh appears to be swimming in the water. The piece might have been a votive offering; more probably, it may have been part of a composite object, made of different materials, such as a priest’s scepter or cult statue; alternatively, it could have been part of the elaborate crown of the statue of a deity associated with ﬁsh. The base is hollow, indicating that it was in all likelihood ﬁxed to the top of another composition. In addition, the strut in front of the dorsal ﬁn could connect the head of the ﬁsh with some other decorative element. Several representations of aquatic creatures exist in ancient Egyptian art, illustrating the importance of the source of life provided by the Nile River. In the Predynastic period, dating back to the 4th millennium B.C., Egyptian craftsmen created ﬁsh-shaped stone palettes. Later, amulets, seals and small vessels featured ﬁsh shapes. Painted terracotta vases and glass ﬂasks were used as containers for cosmetic oil, while bowls made of wood or stone, with or without a lid, served for the preparation of cosmetics; such bowls present a remarkable
design, as the entire body of the ﬁsh was hollowed out to become an ample container. Carved images of ﬁsh appear on inscribed weights, with the inscription "Weight for fresh ﬁsh", which were used to weigh the ﬁsh distributed to workers as partial payment of their wages. A great number of images of ﬁsh are to be found on the frescoes and reliefs of tombs and temples. They depict Nilotic landscapes, with ﬂoating pleasure boats and ﬁshing scenes in the Nile’s abundant waters, with plentiful ﬁsh seen among the aquatic plants, water birds and animals. Garden pools surrounded by fruit trees are shown ﬁlled with water birds and ﬁsh. Market scenes include ﬁsh whose anatomy is rendered in detail so that the species can be easily identiﬁed. All such scenes clearly allude to the fertility and abundance of nature. The repertory of ﬁsh images is enriched in the New Kingdom by introducing genre scenes showing a domesticated cat picking at a ﬁsh. The present statuette made of bronze and decorated with gold differs signiﬁcantly from utilitarian objects, though beautifully designed and elegant. As indicated, it could well belong to a ritual object in the cult of a deity associated with ﬁsh. The ancient Egyptians recognized few such deities; their role was less considerable in the hierarchy of the Egyptian pantheon. However, certain local cults offered them a much more important status. The ﬁsh-goddess Hatmehit was worshipped in the Delta city of Mendes; her name means "Foremost of ﬁsh". The cult of the goddess Neith in Esna associated her with the Nile perch; our statuette may thus represent her because, according to myth, she turned herself into a Nile perch to swim in the primeval waters.
CONDITION Gold inlay partially missing from the waves on the base and from the scales on the head, body and ﬁns; inlay missing from the left eye. Sides of the base deformed; scratches on the upper surface. Spiny dorsal ﬁn and belly damaged. Scratches on the left side of the body and tail. Seam on the body close to the tail, probably an ancient repair. Irregular hole and loss of metal on the left side of the head. Uneven layers of green oxide and patina. Traces of glue on the interior of the base. PROVENANCE Formerly with M. Courier, USA; ex-Mathias Komor, New York; Sotheby’s New York, 23th June 1989, lot 85; ex-US private collection, 1989. BIBLIOGRAPHY ARNOLD D., An Egyptian Bestiary, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 4, New York, 1995, pp. 36-37. ARNOLD D. and ZIEGLER C. (eds.), Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids, New York, 1999, pp. 404-405, no. 150a; pp. 468-471, no. 193. BREWER D.J. and FRIEDMAN R.F., Fish and Fishing in Ancient Egypt, in The Natural History of Egypt, Vol. 2, Warminster, 1989. Egypt’s Golden Age: The Art of Living in the New Kingdom, 1558-1085 B.C., Boston, 1982, p. 38, ﬁg. 16; p. 62, no. 35; pp. 103-104, no. 86; pp. 142-143, nos. 138-140; p. 150, no. 155; p.165, no. 179; pp. 213-214, no. 259; pp. 237-238, no. 312; p. 251, no. 352; p. 273, ﬁg. 67. PATCH D.C., Dawn of Egyptian Art, New York, 2011, p. 36, ﬁgs. 9-10. WILKINSON R.H., The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, London, 2003, pp. 156-159 and 228-229.
â€? Several representations of aquatic creatures exist in ancient Egyptian art, illustrating the importance of the source of life provided by the Nile River.â€?
RIBBED BOWL Greek or Achaemenid, 5th – 4th century B.C. Transparent glass Cast, lathe cut and polished D: 10.3 cm This bowl is made of transparent glass with a bluish tint. Thick-walled, molded and beveled, it is outstanding for its technical and artistic qualities. The shape is simple and understated, without handles or a spout. The hemispherical body is smooth and polished on the inside, while the outer surface is richly decorated with linear patterns in low relief, arranged in a precise, elaborate fashion. Ribs with rounded ends radiate from the base (emphasized by concentric circles) up to the maximum diameter. The rim and the beveled lip are highlighted by a thick horizontal ribbon that runs around the bowl. This piece belongs to a rare, though widely studied, class of vessels, produced between the late 5th and the early 3rd century B.C. Existing in a variety of shapes, the best documented are the bowls, which exist in different versions (more or less broad and low, or high and slender), plates, rhyta and goblets. Most often excavated in Anatolia or in the Near East, the examples belonging to this group may have been manufactured in one particular center, whose exact location is not yet determined. This was perhaps a collection of workshops located in a Mesopotamian or Western Asian city, situated on the Tigris River; they would have been inﬂuenced by the work of the Achaemenid toreutic artists (craftsmen hammering precious metal tableware), whose formal repertoire was copied by glass craftsmen.
These glass bowls, which would certainly have been regarded as luxury items in ancient times, can indeed be considered as imitations of the many drinking cups made of precious metal (silver especially); they were most probably used during ofﬁcial banquets and receptions for dignitaries, for instance, or even, in some cases, in the religious and/or funeral sphere. The likeness between metal and glass vessels is not limited to cups and bowls; indeed, it more generally applies to all forms, as well as to many decorative motifs shared by toreutic artists and glass craftsmen (ribs, petals, circles, ovolos, etc.). CONDITION Complete and virtually intact. Superﬁcial traces of wear; rim slightly chipped. Surface partially covered with a pale brown patina. PROVENANCE Ex-Elie Bustros collection, Beirut, Lebanon, collected in 1960s; European private collection, acquired from Mr. Bustros in 1982. BIBLIOGRAPHY GOLDSTEIN S.M., Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, 1979, pp. 118-121. GROSE D.F., The Toledo Museum of Art: Early Ancient Glass, New York, 1989, pp. 81-82, no. 34. VON SALDERN A., Two Achaemenid Glass Bowls and a Hoard of Hellenistic Glass Vessels, in Journal of Glass Studies, 17, 1975, pp. 37-46. On metal parallels, see: OLIVER A. and LUCKNER K.T., Silver for the Gods: 800 Years of Greek and Roman Silver, Toledo (Ohio), 1977.
” These cast–glass bowls were most probably used during official banquets and receptions for dignitaries.“
NOLAN AMPHORA (ATTRIBUTED TO THE ALKIMACHOS PAINTER) Greek (Attica), ca. 470-460 B.C. Terracotta H: 35.6 cm Among the various types of Classical Greek vessels designed to contain and serve wine at the table, the Nolan amphora is distinguished by its relatively small size and elegant proportions. Especially notable are its perfectly ovoid body, tapering almost to a point at the connection to the wide, stable base, and the elongated, clearly deﬁned neck with a ﬂared mouth. The lines of the neck are accentuated by thin handles sprouting from the shoulders and arching to just below the rim of the vase. The name of the type derives from Nola, the city in Campania, in southern Italy, where several similar vases have been found in the ancient tombs. The shape was invented in the early 5th century B.C. and remained popular until it disappeared in the second half of the century. The actual name of the vase-painter is unknown for certain. Creating the history of Greek vases and establishing the artistic relationships, scholars adopted the assigned names of the painters. The label of the Alkimachos Painter refers to the name inscribed near the image of a youth with the title kalos (beautiful) on two Nolan amphorae in London and in Munich. Consistent individual characteristics of the style found on other vases have allowed for the creation of a core of vase paintings made by the same hand. About seventy vases of various shapes have been assigned to this artist by scholars. Among them are nineteen Nolan amphorae; it is obvious that the painter preferred this particular shape to others. The Alkimachos Painter, whose career belongs to the Early Classical period, is known by the representation of athletic youths, both naked and dressed, as they appear on the sides of the present vase. On one side of this vessel, a naked youth is seen in a full-frontal position. He stands with his arms crossed in front of his chest and with his
hands on his shoulders, as if the youth is washing himself after he exercises. There is a tall pillar next to him; his chlamys (cloak) is folded on the top and a staff leans against it. Above, a sponge, an aryballos (ﬂask) and a strigil (scraping tool) are suspended on an invisible wall. The painter’s style is somewhat reminiscent of the Archaic period. He presents a strict proﬁle view of the head and an almost frontal view of the eye, the hair locks are not differentiated and the choice of lines indicating the anatomy is limited. Still, one cannot mistake the skill of the Alkimachos Painter as draughtsman. Not surprisingly, scholars attribute his manner as being close to the Pan Painter, one of the greatest Greek vasepainters. In the previous period, with the dominating black-ﬁgure technique, painters articulated the silhouettes with incised lines. Here, the drawing proper is indicated with a very ﬁne line of black glaze and with the lines of the preparatory sketching. Additional "ghost" lines may be seen at the young man’s elbows and should be interpreted as a stream of water. It is probable that the stream of water was painted in additional white after the ﬁring of the vessel; but since, this color has vanished. The suspended sponge helps to deﬁne the scene, as the water spout and many other details of the interior are omitted in this representation. The accepted conventional representation of space is stressed by the meander ornament drawn beneath the feet, in place of any line to suggest the ﬂoor or soil. Studying the Alkimachos Painter’s draughtsmanship, one can observe his great ability to indicate the major muscle groups and the bone structure with carefully selected lines. For instance, the triangular deﬁnition of the knee and the median line on the leg showing the patella and the tibia bones also suggest the volumes in these parts of the body. The rounded lines that shape the lower abdomen section with the hips are both expressionist and almost decorative.
On the opposite side of the amphora, another young man is represented, this time in proﬁle. Draped in a long and ample mantle leaving his left shoulder bare, the left arm is outstretched as he leans on his staff. The painter also uses the additional purple-red to show the ﬁllet in the young man’s hair. Exactly the same ﬁgure appears on the Nolan amphorae in Graz (Archaeological Institute of the University of Graz) and in London (British Museum) and is recognized as standard in the repertory of images employed by the Alkimachos Painter. However, the depiction on our vase reveals more subtle drawing and accuracy. Besides the representations of Athenian youths, the Alkimachos Painter established himself as an artist representing mythological episodes: Zeus seated or giving birth to Dionysus from his thigh (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston); Hermes pursuing Ganymede (Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg); Ajax preparing to die (Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Basel).
CONDITION Virtually intact. Minor chips, especially on the lip and on the foot. Glossy paint, in excellent condition except for lighter shades in places. PROVENANCE Ex-Sir Francis Cook (1817-1901) collection, Monserrate Palace, Sintra, Portugal; ex-Leland H. Gilbert collection, Lisbon, Portugal, acquired in the early 20th century. PUBLISHED Beazley Archive Pottery Database, no. 205983. BEAZLEY J.D., Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, Vol. 1, 2nd edition, Oxford, 1963, p. 529, no. 11 bis. ROCHA PEREIRA M.H., Noticia sobre vasos gregos existentes em Portugal, Coimbra, 1959, Part III, ﬁgs. 16-17. ROCHA PEREIRA M.H., Greek Vases in Portugal, Coimbra, 2010, pp. 62-64, pl. 24-25. BIBLIOGRAPHY On the Alkimachos Painter, see: BEAZLEY J.D., Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, Vol. 1, 2nd edition, Oxford, 1963, pp. 529-533. BEAZLEY J.D., Paralipomena: Additions to "Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters" and "Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters", 2nd edition, Oxford, 1971, pp. 383384 and 513. BOARDMAN J., Athenian Red-Figure Vases: The Classical Period, London-New York, 1989, p. 37, ﬁgs. 44-47. CARPENTER T.H. et al., Beazley Addenda, Oxford, 1989, pp. 254-255. ROBERTSON M., The Art of Vase-Painting in Classical Athens, Cambridge, 1992, pp. 151-152. SCHWARZ G., Der Alkimachos-Maler in Graz, in Antike Kunst, 17, 1974, pp. 36-38, pl. 7. VV.AA. Vasos gregos em Portugal: Aquem das colunas de Hercules, Lisbon, 2007, p. 71. On the name of Alkimachos, see: MATHESON S.B., Polygnotos and Vase Painting in Classical Athens, Madison (Wisconsin), 1995, p. 83.
CREDITS & CONTACTS
Selection of objects Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam Project manager Hélène Yubero, Geneva Research Phoenix Ancient Art, Geneva Antiquities Research Center, New York Graphic design mostra-design.com, Geneva Photography Stefan Hagen, New York Atsuyuki Shimada, Osaka
Geneva Ali Aboutaam Michael C. Hedqvist Phoenix Ancient Art S.A. 6, rue Verdaine – P.O. Box 3516 1211 Geneva 3, Switzerland T +41 22 318 80 10 F +41 22 310 03 88 E email@example.com New York Hicham Aboutaam Alexander Gherardi
Print run 300 French – 700 English
Electrum, Exclusive Agent for Phoenix Ancient Art S.A. 47 East 66th Street New York, NY 10065, USA T +1 212 288 7518 F +1 212 288 7121 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Printing CA Design, Wanchai, Hong Kong
©2015 PHOENIX ANCIENT ART SA
2015 / 30 / EN
Phoenix Ancient Art is pleased to celebrate the 10th-anniversary of its publishing history. With this current catalogue, the second of its 2...
Published on Feb 25, 2016
Phoenix Ancient Art is pleased to celebrate the 10th-anniversary of its publishing history. With this current catalogue, the second of its 2...