Amphora (Storage Jar)

A work made of terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique.


about 530/520 BC


Attributed to the Ivy Leaf Group

About this artwork

During the sixth and fifth centuries BC, the Etruscans, who lived north of Rome, increasingly imported Athenian ceramics decorated with scenes of Greek mythology, religion, and daily life. Made of fine, iron-rich clay that fired orange, decorated with a rich black gloss, and sometimes embellished with white and purple-red details, the ceramic vessels produced in Athens were the finest of Classical antiquity.

Etruscan artists, no doubt eager to capitalize on the high demand for Greek vases, and perhaps also hoping to attract customers unable to afford the imported wares, set up a workshop, probably at Vulci, to produce facsimiles of the Athenian vases. This vessel’s attenuated proportions and symmetrical profile create an especially elegant shape that belies the somewhat coarse texture of the local Etruscan clay from which it is made. The clay’s poor quality also stymied attempts to replicate the highly refined surface finishes of Athenian vases. Nevertheless, the painter of this vase skillfully composed his scenes within trapezoidal picture fields bounded above by a decorative pattern of interlacing lotus buds and dots and along its sides by a single line. On the front, a hound looks back at a horse and hunter, while a stag and hare flee for their lives on the back.

On View

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 153


Ancient Etruscan


Amphora (Storage Jar)




530 BC–520 BC


terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique


38.7 × 27.9 cm (15 1/4 × 11 in.); diam. 19.4 cm (7 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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