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Black-Figure Storage Jar (Amphora) Honoring Dionysos

A Greek potter (or workshop owner) named “Amasis” signed some of the vessels that he made; eight of them survive. Scholars recognize that all of the vessels were painted by a single hand and, therefore, have named this unknown artist the “Amasis Painter.” Distinct characteristics in the painted decoration of the Amasis pots have led scholars to attribute more than a hundred vessels to the Amasis Painter and to proclaim him one of the foremost masters of the black-figure vase-painting technique. The decoration on this amphora is recognized as being part of this esteemed body of work.

The panels on each side of the vessel depict Dionysos, the god of wine, in the midst of a group of hunters and their dogs. The symmetric arrangement of the silhouetted figures and the carefully incised details characterize the black-figure style and highlight its inherent elegance. Interestingly, the two sides are notably different despite their similar subject matter and format.

Greek, made in Attica
Attributed to the Amasis Painter
Black-Figure Storage Jar (Amphora) Honoring Dionysos
550–540 BC
Terracotta with added color
H. (with lid) 14 5/16 in. (36.3 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Nicholas H. Noyes, 71.82