Hector performs a libation before battle, bidding farewell to his parents, Priam and Hecuba. The three figures are identified with inscriptions painted in white. At the centre there is the young Trojan hero, standing and in armour, qualified by the epithet kalos=beautiful, who gently tips a phiale. Before him is his mother Hecuba, idealised in her appearance as a young women, who with a sad and solemn gesture ritually pours the wine on the ground from an oinochoe. Priam appears in regal clothing and with a composed but eloquent attitude dries his tears, underlining the dramatic tone of the moment. The last king of Troy, in an effective frontal representation, appears almost to address the spectator. The evident grey hairs underline the regal personage's old age.
This amphora constitutes the eponymous vase of the Painter of Hector, who was active around the mid fifth century B.C., within the broadest circle of Polygnotus. The painter, immersed in the spirit of the art of the late classical age, confers a placid and solemn tone to his figures, succeeding at the same time in transmitting all the intensity of the drama in the calm of the atemporal suspension in which the narrative appears to be immersed.