- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Hydria (water jar): Theseus and the Minotaur
- Work Type
- 550-530 BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Attica
- Archaic period
- Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3400, Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Art, Ancient Greece in Black and Orange
View this object's location on our interactive map
- Physical Descriptions
- 44 x 43 cm (17 5/16 x 16 15/16 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- inscription: Graffiti on the bottom of the foot. Dipinti in red wash on bottom of foot.
- Edith J. Purrington, Edgartown, MA, (by 1963), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1963.
- State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
- Standard Reference Number
- Beazley Archive Database #4933
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Edith J. Purrington
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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- Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus stands in the center facing right and holds the Minotaur by one horn while stabbing the monster with a short sword. The Minotaur, who kneels near Theseus's feet, raises his right arm in the air as he falls victim to the fatal blow. The two figures are flanked on either side by two pairs of spectators, a woman and a youth. The women both wear long peploi with mantles while the youth are both nude save a chlamys over their shoulders.
On the shoulder are four pairs of dancing satyrs and nymphs. The satyrs are nude with tails while the maenads (female revelers) wear long peploi and fillets decorating their hair.
Added red is used throughout to indicate details, for example, the Minotaur's mane and ornamentation on the peploi.
A black-figure fragment already in the HUAM collection (acc. no. 1977.216.2383), providing a large section of the main scene, was found to join with this hydria by Aaron J. Paul on 30 June 1995. The fragment provides the lower part of the bodies of Theseus, in the center of the hydria's main figure scene, and the Minotaur's right arm and leg to the right, and the drapery and left leg of the youth to the left of the figure scene. The fragment completes the figure scene on the hydria, which, except for a few small minor fragments missing, renders the vase now virtually complete.
- Publication History
Diana M. Buitron, Attic Vase Painting in New England Collections, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), p. 32, no. 12
Alan W. Johnston, Trademarks on Greek Vases: Addenda, Aris and Phillips (Warminster, England, 2006)
- Exhibition History
Attic Vase Painting in New England Collections, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 03/01/1972 - 04/05/1972
[Teaching Exhibition], Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, 08/01/1995 - 01/01/1997
Fragments of Antiquity: Drawing Upon Greek Vases, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/15/1997 - 12/28/1997
32Q: 3400 Greek, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at email@example.com