Etruscan Stamnos of the Vatican Group G 113

Photogallery

Etruscan Stamnos of the Vatican Group G 113
Etruscan Stamnos of the Vatican Group G 113
Room IX. Guglielmi Collection

A young nude man armed with a sword faces an attacking gryphon. On the other side there is a winged female figure, seated on a low column, adorned with a crown and dressed in a simple girded peplum. This stamnos constitutes a replica of the eponymous vessel belonging to the Vatican Group G 113, which entered the museum with the first portion of the Guglielmi Collection.
The battle between Arimaspians and gryphons appears in Attic production and in the ceramics of Kertsch, but it is rather rare in Italiot ceramics. It is however found frequently in clay appliques from Taranto. In Greek iconography, this legendary people from northern Scythia is represented in perennial battle against the gryphons, who guard golden treasure. In Etruria it is a recurrent theme on vases, urns and sarcophagi and appears in symbolic connection with the funerary world, here evoked also by the presence of the female demon; it is notable that here the fighter is naked, and not in the oriental barbarian costume of the Arimaspians.