side a Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Near Exekias
Neck Amphora (storage jar): Herakles and the Nemean Lion; Theseus and the Minotaur
Work Type
540-530 BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Attica
Archaic period
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3400, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Art, Ancient Greece in Black and Orange
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Physical Descriptions
41.3 cm h x 31.5 cm diam (16 1/4 x 12 3/8 in.)
David M. Robinson, Baltimore, MD, (by 1958), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1960.
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Standard Reference Number
Beazley Archive Database #310424
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of David M. Robinson
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Group E amphora.

On side A, Herakles wrestles with the Nemean lion between Iolaus and Athena. Herakles stands in the center facing right and strangles the lion, clinching his neck. On the left is Iolaus (Herakles' companion) who moves to the left and looks back over his shoulder. On the right stands Athena, wearing her customary peplos and helmet, and bearing a shield.

On side B, Theseus battles the Minotaur between two maidens. Theseus, the Athenian hero, stands in the center facing right wearing a short garment and ani mal skin. With his left hand he grasps the Minotaur (half man, half bull), stabbing the monster with a short sword. The hero is flanked on either side by two maidens, both wearing floor-length, decorated peploi.

On the shoulder, a cockfight. The neck is decorated with a palmette-lotus chain and tendrils, palmettes, and lotuses appear beneath the handles. Added red and white provide detail including the mens' hair and the womens' skin, respectively.

Both of these scenes were popular during the mid-late sixth century BCE
Publication History

J. D. Beazley, Attic Black-figure Vases, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, England, 1956), p. 148

David M. Robinson, Unpublished Greek Vases in the Robinson Collection, American Journal of Archaeology (1956), 60.1, 1-25, p. 7-9, no. 8, pl. 5

Diana M. Buitron, Attic Vase Painting in New England Collections, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), p.30, no.11

Thomas Carpenter, Thomas Mannack, and Melanie Mendonca, ed., Beazley addenda : additional references to ABV, ARV² & Paralipomena, Oxford University Press (UK) (Oxford, 1989), p. 62

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), Artemis (Zürich, Switzerland, 1999), Vol. 5, Herakles 1807.

Exhibition History

The David Moore Robinson Bequest of Classical Art and Antiquities: A Special Exhibition, Fogg Art Museum, 05/01/1961 - 09/20/1961

Attic Vase Painting in New England Collections, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 03/01/1972 - 04/05/1972

Re-View: S422 Ancient & Byzantine Art & Numismatics, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/12/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 3400 Greek, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

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