Transport and Storage Jar (Amphora) with White-on-Red Decoration, 600-580 BCE
Archaic Period
Italy, Etruria, Vulci
26 × 17 × 17 in. (66 × 43.2 × 43.2 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
CA 64060

Photo: Hickey-Robertson, Houston
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This large jar is produced in Etruscan impasto (a coarse clay) coated in a red slip and decorated with white, which gives the technique its scholarly name of white-on-red. The figural scenes on the neck and two registers of the body include animals such as lions, panthers, horses, and hybrid creatures (winged sphinxes), which move towards the viewer’s right as if in a procession. White-on-red technique and this type of animal subject matter often show strong ties to Corinthian ceramics. On close inspection, one of the depicted panthers carries a human leg in its mouth. Stylistically, the vase shares strong similarities with an amphora from the Isis Tomb at site of Vulci, and both are attributed to a group known as the workshop of the Pescia Romana Painter. In particular, the central double frieze of animals moving to the right connects the two vessels, as well as the similar decorative semi-circle and interwoven bands and linked lotuses. The archaeological provenience (findspot) of this vase is unknown, but it most likely was produced in or around Vulci given this strong comparison. It was previously broken and mended.