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Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Black-Figure Storage Jar (Amphora) with Horse Head and Dolphin

Although the two animals on this amphora are stylized, they reflect increasing interest in the observation of nature. They dominate the decoration on the vase and carry specific meaning. The combination of the two, in fact, indicates that the vase was made in honor of the god Poseidon. The dolphin evokes Poseidon's role as lord of the sea, while the horse refers to Poseidon as “tamer of horses.”

Greek, made in Attica
Black-Figure Storage Jar (Amphora) with Horse Head and Dolphin
Archaic period, ca. 550 BC
Terracotta, added color
H. 15 3/16 in. (38.6 cm), diam. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 74.10.1