Radocsay Dénes - Gerevich Lászlóné szerk.: A Szépművészeti Múzeum közleményei 31. (Budapest,1968)

BOTHMER, DIETRICH von: An Amphora'by Exekias

AN AMPHORA BY EXEKIAS Each year more Greek vases become known in large numbers, either through exca­vations or through acquisitions by museums and private collections. These increments are, of course, fortuitous, and masterpieces emerge side by side with much that is less interesting. Each new find is added to what is already known, and since Greek vases con­stitute the best-studied class of classical antiquities, newcomers can usually be classed and attributed with ease and dispatch. Not so long ago Dr. Szilágyi, hearing of my interest in Attic black-figured amphorae of type A, a class of amphorae with the pictures set in panels and endowed with flanged handles, sent me photographs of the vase which thanks to his kindness and cooperation is published here for the first time (Fig. 10). Though fragmentary and not in the best condi­tion, the amphora at once struck me as being painted by Exekias, one of the greatest of the Attic black-figure painters that were active in the sixth century B.C. This is a painter whose mastery of the technique, whose firm drawing, and whose restraint lend to each of his compositions a quality that is seldom equalled and never surpassed. His preserved works are rare, and his career as a painter cannot have been a long one. He is outnumbered by his closest rival the Amasis Painter at the rate of four to one, and even his older colleague, Lydos, is credited with more than three times as many vases. Surely this is not entirely fortuitous, though in part it may be ascribed to the chances of archaeo­logical discoveries. Most of the Attic vases have been attributed at one time or another by the greatest connoisseur in that field, Sir John Beazley. His book on the black-figure painters was pub­lished in 1956, and in it twenty-four vases and fragments are put together under Exekias. 1 To these he has since added in Paralipomena 2 a pyxis in Markopoulo, 3 fragments in Reggio, 4 and fragments of a neck-amphora in the collection of Dr. Herbert Cahn in Basle 5 bringing the total to twenty-eight. It is now possible to increase this number with newly discovered vases by Exekias in Budapest, Dublin, 6 and Carlsruhe. 7 1 Attic Black-figure Vase-painters (Oxford, 1956), hereafter abbreviated ABV, pp.143 —146 and p. 714. 2 Pp. 60-61. 3 To Ergon 1961, p. 38, fig. 43; BCH 1962, p. 669, fig. 27. 4 Unpublished. 5 Antike Kunst 5 (1962) pl. 31. fi 1921.97; the Dublin vases, for the most part unpublished, were brought to my attention by Andrew Oliver, Jr. 7 Badisches Landesmuseum Neuerwerbungen 1952—1965 pp. 17—18. 2 Bulletin 31 17