Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Attic amphora in double technique with lid

In about 530 BC, the painter Andokides, working in the Athens studio of the potter Exechias, began to experiment with a new terracotta decorative technique in which the figure were outlined leaving their inner part unpainted, instead of paint them in black. In this way he created several “bilingual” works, in which the scenes were realized with the black figures on one side and the newly-invented red figures on the other.

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This amphora, attributable to Andokides himself, is the only specimen so far found in Po Valley Etruria that testifies to this type of production. Unlike other amphora with the same scene in the two techniques on the two sides, here the episodes depicted are different: on one side there is Heracles, killing the Nemean lion, assisted by Iolaus and in the presence of Athena,; on the other, Dionysus at banquet, with Ariadne by his side playing the cithara, and two satyrs. The amphora is an excellent imported piece and was the only item of funerary equipment in an incineration tomb, in which bone remains were oddly deposited in a corner of the trench, outside of the urn.


Provenance: Bologna, Arnoaldi necropolis, tomb 85
Datation: 530–520 BC, Andokides
Material: Clay
Inventory #: 18017

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