Artist Unknown

Bail Amphora (Campanion - Greek Colony In Italy)

  • Purchased, 1972
  • Clay
  • 438 x 121mm
  • 72/142

Amphorae or storage vessels like this were used in ancient Greece and Italy for holding oil, wine, milk or grain, and sometimes as grave markers, or to hold funeral offerings or human remains. This jar’s sides are decorated with well-dressed, wealthy citizens: a young man wrapped in a generous length of cloth, and a young woman with a patera, a shallow dish used for pouring libations, drink offerings to the gods.

The decoration is recognised as the work of a prolific artist known as the APZ Painter (or Apulianizing Painter), who lived in Campania, a Greek colony in Southern Italy in around 330 to 320 BC. This artist is credited for introducing styles and motifs from Apulia, the region to the east.An almost identical amphora decorated by the APZ Painter is currently on display in the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities at the Christchurch Arts Centre, just a few minutes’ walk from here.

(As Time Unfolds, 5 December 2020 – 7 March 2021)