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Italo-Geometric Bird Askos (Oil Vessel): Hunter (Herakles?) and Stag

Italo-Geometric Bird Askos (Oil Vessel): Hunter (Herakles?) and Stag

c. 700 BC

attributed to Bisenzio Class

Ceramic

Overall: 33.5 x 15.5 cm (13 3/16 x 6 1/8 in.); Diameter of foot: 11.9 cm (4 11/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1993.1

Location

Did you know?

This askos may feature the earliest known representation of Herakles's third labor, the Keryneian hind.

Description

This bird-shaped askos (oil vessel), with a tall filling spout and a pierced beak for pouring, perhaps held perfumed oil for a funerary function. Although the shape likely stems from Italian tradition, the abundantly painted geometric decoration, covering nearly every available surface, derives originally from Greece. Thus scholars have suggested that an immigrant Greek potter working in Etruria may have made the vessel. The sole narrative scene shows a man with a spear leading an antlered animal. If not an anonymous hunter, this could be the earliest known representation of the hero Herakles performing his third labor: capturing the golden-antlered Keryneian hind, or female deer.

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

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