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Home > Auctions > 25th May 2021 > Greek Amphora Fragment with Herakles Attributed to the Leagros Group

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LOT 0031

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 9,300 - 11,630
USD ($) 11,220 - 14,030

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£7,200 (EUR 8,370; USD 10,099) (+bp*)

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Greek Amphora Fragment with Herakles Attributed to the Leagros Group

520-500 BC

An Attic black-figure amphora fragment decorated with a scene of Herakles at a symposium, a young boy, possibly Iolaus or Dionysus, standing near his dinner bed as a servant; the hero depicted nude reclining on a kline, a himation enveloping his lower waist and legs, holding a long knife in his right hand; the young servant standing to the left, holding a spear from which he is serving Herakles a piece of meat; the hero’s quiver and bow is in the field to the right of Herakles, supported by a stand over the bed; the club placed on the left side of the bed, with a panther depicted beneath the bed; mounted on a custom-made display stand. 1.6 kg total, 41cm including stand (16"). Fine condition, restored.

Property of a private New York collection, acquired from Gallery Cahn in 2012; formerly in the private collection of Rolf Blatter, Berne, Switzerland, since at least 1976; accompanied by an expertise by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10648-174366.

Blatter, R., ‘Herakles beim Gelage’, in Archäeologischer Anzeiger, 1976, pp.49-52, fig.1; Schauenburg, K., in JdI 94, 1979, p.62, note 46; Wolf, S.R., Herakles beim Gelage, Köln, 1993, p.200, cat. no. sf.18, fig.18; Verbanck-Piérard, A., ‘Herakles at Feast in Attic Art: a Mythical or Cultic Iconography?’, in The Iconography of Greek Cult in the Archaic and Classical Periods, Liège, 1992, fig.2.

See Boardman, J., ‘Herakles’ in LIMC, vol.IV, Zurich and Munich, 1988, p.818; Himmelmann, N., Der Ausruhende Herakles Leiden, 2019.

This fragment is attributed to the Leagros Group, circa 510-500 BC. In the later 6th century BC, Attic vase painters enriched the iconography of Herakles with a number of motifs; of particular importance was the subject of Herakles resting from his labours (Ηρακλής άναπαυομενος). In late Archaic art, this άναπαυσις of Herakles was represented as an 'active rest', primarily depicted in three different ways: Type 1, represented here by the Leagros Painter, shows the goddess Athena exchanging a handshake with her protégé (Himmelmann, fig. 50); 2) the goddess Athena pouring something in order to donate and drink (Himmelmann, 2009, fig. 51); 3) Herakles dining and feasting on the kline under the eyes of his guardian deity or in the open air in the company of Dionysus.