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Black-Figure Hydria with Herakles Wrestling Triton

This hydria, or water vessel, depicts the struggle between the mortal hero Hercules and the fishtailed monster Triton. The artist was clearly interested in dramatic narrative and chose to present their confrontation as a vigorous wrestling match. The intertwined bodies are an early attempt at presenting figures moving in three-dimensional space, another bold choice on the part of this artist. The figures are also depicted with striking detail, calling further attention to the painter’s skill.

Greek, made in Attica
Attributed to the Rycroft Painter
Black-Figure Hydria with Herakles Wrestling Triton
Archaic period, ca. 520–510 BC
Terracotta, added color
H. 20 1/4in. (51.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 77.33