Cinerary Urn of the Master of Oenomaus

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Cinerary Urn of the Master of Oenomaus
Cinerary Urn of the Master of Oenomaus
Rooms X and XI. Hellenistic Age Urns

The lid depicts a couple seated on a kline, engaged in a banquet translated into the hereafter. The high-relief on the casket shows the intervention of Etruscan demons in an episode from the Greek myth of the killing of Oenomaus by Pelopes. Oenomaus, Lord of Pisa in Elis, used to challenge the suitors of his daughter Hippodamia to a fatal chariot race, from Pisa to the Isthmus of Corinth, during which he caught up with them and ran them through with his spear. Pelopes finally managed to win, using the horses he had received as a gift from Poseidon, or according to another version, by corrupting Myrtilus, Oenomaus’ charioteer, who sabotaged a wheel of his master’s chariot. Oenomaus is depicted kneeling and seeking in vain to parry the blow about to be inflicted by Pelopes and at the same time by the winged female demon. Hippodamia flees in fright while the falling horses overwhelm those present. On the sides of the casket there are another two winged female demons.
The urn is attributed to the “Master of Oenomaus”, a conventional figure mainly linked to Volterra. Unearthed in 1516, it was donated to Clement XIV in 1772.