- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
The Pioneer Group, Greek ( active early 6th century BCE )
- Attic Red-figure Hydria: The Ransom of Hector
- Work Type
- 510-500 BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Athens (Attica)
- Archaic period
Level 3, Room 3410, South Arcade
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- Physical Descriptions
- 38.1 cm h x 38 cm diam at handles (15 x 14 15/16 in.)
- [Munzen und Medaillen AG, Basel, May 6, 1967, Auction 34, lot 149], sold; to Frederick M. Watkins, New Haven, CT, (1967-1972), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1972.
- State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
- Standard Reference Number
- Beazley Archive Database #352403
- Aquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Frederick M. Watkins
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
- Re-View Exhibition, Spring 2008, gallery label information:
"Respect the gods, Achilles. Think of your own father, and pity me. . . . I have borne what no man who has walked this earth has ever yet borne: I have kissed the hand of the man who killed my son."
With these words in Book 24 of Homer's Iliad, the Trojan king Priam implores the Greek hero Achilles to let him ransom dead Hector. The scene on this hydria (water jar) is a dense visual rendering of the narrative. Hector's mutilated body is prominent; his wounds and tied ankles recall Achilles dragging the corpse behind his chariot. Just arrived, Priam clasps Achilles' knees in supplication and begins to speak. The reclining hero is startled; his big dinner knife and the now-faded strips of red meat hanging from the table lend him an air of brutality. At right, a suit of armor reminds the viewer of the events that led to the poignant encounter.
- Publication History
The Frederick M. Watkins Collection, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1973)
David Gordon Mitten and Amy Brauer, Dialogue with Antiquity, The Curatorial Achievement of George M. A. Hanfmann, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1982), p. 12, no. 17.
Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), p. 103, no. 113, ill.
James Cuno, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, Harvard University Art Museums/Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p. 98-99, ill.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), Artemis (Zürich, Switzerland, 1999), Achilleus 655.
Luca Zoppi, "Reinventing the Iliad", The Word, ed. Sarah MacDonald, Boylan Group (Drogheda, 2004), Vol. 53/No. 9, p. 23
George M. A. Hanfmann and David Gordon Mitten, "The Art of Classical Antiquity", Apollo (May 1978), Vol. 107, No. 195, 8-15, fig. 8.
- Exhibition History
Dialogue with Antiquity: The Curatorial Achievement of George M.A. Hanfmann, Fogg Art Museum, 05/07/1982 - 06/26/1982
The Frederick M. Watkins Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/31/1973 - 03/14/1973
To Bid Farewell: Images of Death in the Ancient World, Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence
Re-View: S422 Ancient & Byzantine Art & Numismatics, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/12/2008 - 06/18/2011
Ancient to Modern, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2012 - 06/01/2013
- Verification Level
3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted