Attic Hydria of the Leagros Group

Photogallery

Attic Hydria of the Leagros Group
Attic Hydria of the Leagros Group
Room XIX. Lower Hemicycle. Collection of vases, Attic ceramics

This vessel is a valuable iconographic document for the various athletic contests illustrated on the shoulders: two pairs of boxers complete violently, a flautist plays to accompany the events, a gymnast prepares for the subsequent competition, binding his hands with the cæstus (a long bandage that constitutes a sort of boxing glove), and a competition judge faces a group of three runners.
On the metope there are two horseriders in a Thessalian costume with the pétasos (a broad-brimmed travelling hat) and two spears in their hands. The inscriptions give the symbolic names of the horses, Thrasos (courage) and Arete (virtue, ability, understood with the broader meaning of physical and moral excellence), as well as the acclamation of two youths, Olympiodoros and Leagros, each of whom is celebrated as kalos (beautiful).
The Leagros Group includes various artistic personalities working in the twilight of the black figure period, alongside the Pioneers of the new red figure technique. They had a characteristic preference for large vases, hydriai as in this case, or amphorae, which offer the ideal support for the illustration of figurative themes of a heroic nature, often drawn from Homeric poems.