Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Greek collection

Attic black-figure amphora signed by Nikosthenes

The amphora is a fine piece by the workshop of Nikosthenes, an Attic potter who was active between the middle and the end of the 6th century BC. He produced vases with a unique shape imitating metal vessels. Nikosthenes was both a potter and vase painter, and his production was enormously successful in Etruria, the provenance of most of the specimens attributed to him.

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The decoration of the amphora is divided into bands that mainly feature geometric and plant motifs, palmettes and lotus blossoms. The first band is a striking frieze of ferocious animals touched up in purple and white, and the handles have two dancing Maenads.

The attribution of the amphora to Nikosthenes is unquestionable, thanks to the presence of an inscription in Greek letters on the first band: “Nikosthenes made me”.

Provenance: Cerveteri (Roma). Palagi Collection
Datation: 540–510 BC, Nikosthenes, N Painter
Material: clay
Dimensions: height cm 32
Inventory #: G 9 (PU 197)

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Exhibition rooms | Rooms V and VI - Greek collection