Nov 13, 2009
Nov 13, 2009
Nov 13, 2009

Red-Figure Situla (Deep Bucket): Bellerophon Slaying Chimaera (A); Dionysos, Maenads, Eros (B)

Red-Figure Situla (Deep Bucket): Bellerophon Slaying Chimaera (A); Dionysos, Maenads, Eros (B)

c. 350 BC

Ceramic

With handle: 30.3 cm (11 15/16 in.); Diameter of rim: 24.5 cm (9 5/8 in.); Diameter of foot: 13.1 cm (5 3/16 in.); without handle: 28 cm (11 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1977.179

Location

Did you know?

The mythical fire-breathing Chimaera comprises a lion with goat’s head and neck, plus a snake-headed tail.

Description

The dramatic scene on this bucket-like vessel (known as a situla, more common in bronze) shows the hero Bellerophon astride his winged horse Pegasos, taking aim with a spear at the monstrous Chimaera. Combining parts of a goat and snake with the body of a lion, this fearsome fire-breathing creature lived in Lycia (now southwest Turkey), where fire still burns from natural vents in the rock. Also present on the vase are Hermes and Athena, watching Bellerophon, as well as a small Pan and two young satyrs with stones. Are they taking aim at Pegasos or the Chimaera? Dionysos, Eros, and two maenads appear on the reverse.

See also
Collection: 
GR - South Italy
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Ceramic
Medium: 
Ceramic

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