Etruscan Hydria of the Painter of the Vatican Biga

Photogallery

Etruscan Hydria of the Painter of the Vatican Biga
Etruscan Hydria of the Painter of the Vatican Biga
Room XXI of the Sun-Dial. Attic and Etruscan ceramics

The unique detail of the scene represented here is the young painter, naked and depicted from behind, engaged in decorating a tomb in the form of a kiosk. The “realistic” aspects of the representation provide details on the nature of painting, dedicated to qualifying or completing what is omitted by the sculptural aspect. While the strip with the palmettes and lotus flowers and the series of teeth, the painter appears to be intent on completing the Ionic kymation, similar to the one offered in the accessory decoration of the vase. The monument depicted is found in cairns and circular structures typical of the area of Vulci.
Despite the realistic details, the scene appears to have been transferred to an otherworldly context, as underlined by the nakedness of the painter and the arrival of a bearded deity on a chariot, a possible representation of Hades, the Etruscan Aita.
The Painter of the Vatican Biga, one of the first masters of the red figure technique in Etruria, is an able draughtsman capable of effective viewpoints and evocative settings, although still linked in terms of technique and iconography to the repertoire of Attic ceramic painting.