established 1942

Etruscan red-figure stamnos by the Volterra Caeretan Painter Etruscan red-figure stamnos by the Volterra Caeretan Painter
Etruscan red-figure stamnos by the Volterra Caeretan Painter ETRUSCAN RED-FIGURE STAMNOS BY THE VOLTERRA CAERETAN PAINTER

A seated Artemis (the Etruscan Artumes) in a biga drawn by stags, a hare in front.
Reverse: A seated female holding a large basket.

Ca. 350-325 BC

H. 13 5/8 in. (35 cm.); Diam. 10 3/8 in.

Ex Patricia Kluge collection, Charlottesville, Virginia, acquired from Royal-Athena in 1991.

Published: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 1991, no. 78; J. Eisenberg, One Thousand Years of Ancient Greek Vases II, 2010, no. 195; J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2011, no. 138.

CF. M. Del Chiaro, Etruscan Red-Figured Vase-Painting at Caere (Berkeley 1974) 29-33



More images below.
Side A: The winged Etruscan goddess Artumes (Artemis) is driving a biga to the left, drawn by two prancing stags, which rear their forelegs into the air. Below the stags, a hare also runs to the left. Goddess, stags, hare, and biga are all painted white, with facial details, hair, fur, feathers, muscles, and harness rendered with brown, diluted glaze. The only reserved area that preserves the red-figure character of the scene is the goddess’s belted chiton, with a white stripe down the center framed by black lines. Her black hair is tied in a bun with a white ribbon, and she wears a white diadem. A white fillet hangs from the upper border before Artumes’ face. White dotted triangles with hooked tips are arrayed along the borders at the left of the scene and below the stags.

Side B: A white-skinned woman is seated to the left on a large white rock. She is barefooted and wears the same chiton, bracelet, and hair-ribbons as Artumes. She leans back on her left arm, and with her right holds up a large basket (kanoun) containing two eggs. White dotted triangles emerge from the framing foliage at left and right, and strings of white dots hang from above. In the field at lower left is a circular filling ornament with a border of white dots; it is a libation bowl, a phiale mesomphalos.

For the Volterra Caeretan Painter, see M. Del Chiaro, Etruscan Red-Figured Vase-Painting at Caere (Berkeley 1974) 29-33. He is named for the Etruscan cities whose cemeteries have yielded significant numbers of his vases. He was formerly called the Caeretan Stamnos Painter, after the many stamnoi found at Caere (modern Cerveteri), but the discovery of several type-7 oinochoai by him at Volterra, far to the north of Caere, show that he painted more than stamnoi and that his production was not limited to Caere. The Volterra Caeretan Painter is part of Del Chiaro’s Dotted-hem Grouop, a reference to the way he draws the hems of garments. Also characteristic are the shape of the vase, the white edging of the tongues, the drawing of the framing florals, the extensive use of added white, the block-like rock, the phiale in the field, and the white dotted triangles. The biga of Artumes on this vase is an unusually elaborate subject for the artist, and is better executed than most of his works. The goddess may be on her way to the battle with the Giants, but compare the leopard-biga of Artemis on the Apulian bell-krater by the Painter of Boston 00.348 (no. 22, above).

The kanoun on side B appears regularly in scenes of sacrifice or offerings to a god or goddess, and is usually shown heaped with cakes, eggs, and other offerings. In this case, we may assume the divine recipient will be Artumes, the Etruscan version of the Greek goddess Artemis. On both sides of another stamnos by the Volterra Caeretan Painter, in Rome (Villa Giulia; Del Chiaro, pls. 32-33), a seated woman holding a mirror is approached by a nude woman holding a similar basket. In that case, the woman may be a mortal and the nude female a slave girl bringing a tray of jewelry to her mistress. The similarity of the tray to a kanoun may be accidental, or it may be that the woman is preparing a basket of offerings to take to a tomb, as represented on many Attic white-ground lekythoi of the preceding century.

Except for the reserved ridge, the foot and lower body are black; also black are the neck, the inside of the mouth, and the outside of the handles. An egg and dart pattern, debased into dashes and V’s, circles the overhanging rim. A broad band of black tongues, edged with white and flanked by dots and double lines, circles with the shoulder. The figures stand on an encircling groundline of black dots. Below each handle is a large fan-palmette with fleshy side scrolls and foliage that frame the pictures.

Broken and repaired, with minor restoration. The distinctive shape is that associated with the Volterra Caeretan Painter: foot with tall stem and ogival profile, pronounced ridge (reserved) between foot and body, and handles angled sharply upward.
Etruscan red-figure stamnos by the Volterra Caeretan Painter
Etruscan red-figure stamnos by the Volterra Caeretan Painter

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