|IMPORTANT ATTIC RED-FIGURE AMPHORA BY THE HARROW PAINTER
With twisted handles. Music lesson: Bearded teacher leaning on staff instructing, seated youth holding kithara.
Reverse: A standing youth wearing a himation.
Ca 480-470 BC
H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm.)
Ex Swiss collection; Patricia Kluge collection, Charlottesville, Virginia, acquired from Royal-Athena in 1992.
Published: J. Eisenberg, One Thousand Years of Ancient Greek Vases II, 2010, no. 80; J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2011, no. 116.
Side A: A youth is seated to the right on a rectangular block with a black square on the side. He is covered from chin to ankle with his himation, which he draws taut before him with his covered right arm. In his left hand he holds a lyre, the tortoiseshell soundboard of which is not visible. There is a red apicate fillet in his hair and a smile on his face. He looks straight ahead, not meeting the eyes of the bearded man who stands before him, leaning on his knotty staff, his left leg drawn back. He too wears a red fillet and an enveloping himation. In the upper background between them hang a sponge, strigil, and aryballos.
Side B: A youth stands to the left, covered him from chin to ankles in a himation, which he pulls taut in front with his right arm. His left hand, also hidden, rests on his hip.
Apparently complete. Broken and repaired from large fragments. The surface is in very good condition. Echinus mouth and twisted handles. The foot is in two degrees: torus with reserved riser. The pictures are unframed. The entire vase is black except for the figures, the narrow baseline, the bands of black tongues below the neck, and the riser of the foot.
The Harrow Painter was a pot specialist, active from about 480 to the early 460s. He is named for a vase at Harrow School with a charming picture of a boy rolling a hoop. He was a prolific artist; Beazley attributed 97 works to his hand, and the number has now grown to over 110. Many of his pots were minor works for the export market, but others, especially those with satyrs, are marked by a distinctive and often humorous charm. He was strongly influenced by the Berlin Painter, but seems not to have been a member of the same workshop. His neck-amphoras with twisted handles, based on those of the Berlin Painter, were painted early in his career, around 480; most of those with triple handles must date from the 470s. His other favorite shape was the column-krater, with both framed and unframed pictures. Relations between the sexes and between boys and men were also favorite subjects, usually in quiet compositions like this one. Another neck-amphora with twisted handles has a nearly identical scene: Vatican 17889 (ARV 272,5).
The scene on a column-krater at Harvard (no. 1925.30.33; ARV 275,53) is also identical, even to the sponge, strigil, and aryballos, except that having a larger space to fill, the painter added a third figure, a youth, at left. The youth on the reverse of this amphora is one of the painter’s standard “back men;” there are many parallels, e.g. Naples 86304 (ARV 275,65).
For the Harrow Painter, see Beazley ARV 272-78, 1641, and 1705; Paralipomena 353-53; Beazley Addenda 206-7; J.D. Beazley, “Two Vases in Harrow,” JHS 36, 1916, 123-33; R.G. Gempeler, AntK 12, 1969, 12-21; and the chapter on the painter in J.M. Padgett, The Geras Painter: An Athenian Eccentric and his Associates (Diss. Harvard 1989) 149-205.