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Gift of M. H. de Young
Attributed to a painter of the Leagros Group
Side A: Warriors brawling (Ajax and Odysseus?).
Side B: Dionysos with musical procession of nymphs.
Made at the end of the 6th century BC, this very fine, lidded amphora was used as a storage vessel for wine, milk, or perhaps pickled fish. The depiction of Dionysos, god of wine, on one side of the vase suggests it might have been used to store wine. In the vigorously painted, complex main scene on the other panel, warriors, who may represent the Homeric heroes Ajax and Odysseus, dispute the claim to the arms of Achilles. While two helpless men stand by, a peacemaker (perhaps Agamemnon) intervenes. The figures are painted in black-figure technique, in which the design was painted in black silhouette, enlivened with incised details and accessory colors, set against a red clay background. The style of drawing, with its interest in anatomical detail and lively overlapping action, has led to the vase's attribution to the Leagros Group of Greek vase painters. These artists worked in the same workshop, and their styles are closely related.