Hydria with chariot scene (body) and Dionysos among sileni and nymphs (shoulder).
Greek, 510 BC-500 BC
Fired clay, black-figure technique. 47,7 cm
Inventory number: H556
The pitcher, a so-called hydria, is decorated with two figurative scenes. The panel on the belly of the vase portrays a dramatic chariot scene. A quadriga containing a warrior and a charioteer is pursuing an enemy fleeing on foot. The way in which the horses’ heads are reproduced shows that the chariot is turning. The scene recalls the mighty battle scenes in Homer’s Iliad, which were popular motifs on Greek vases. On the shoulder of the vase we see the god of wine, Dionysos seated on a folding chair. On either side of the god we are presented with a selection of his retinue of dancing sileni and nymphs.
The hydria derives from Athens. It is decorated using the black-figure technique. Stylistically, the vase can be attributed to the so-called Leagros Group, which is thought to have come from a single Attic workshop. The group of vase painters, who are especially known for their decoration of hydrias, was active in the late Archaic period at the end of the 6th century BC.