At the public fountain of an elegant architectural structure, two servants and two women have come to fill their hydriai, vessels for drawing and transporting water similar to this item. One woman is about to place the full vase on her head, with the pad already in position, while the other turns to engage in an apparently animated discussion with the servant behind her, who gesticulates visibly. Two of the spouts of the fountain have the shape of the usual lion protome, with an apotropaic function; these are alternated with the same number of spouts shaped, less commonly, like the head of an ass, possibly with an ironic or symbolic allusion.
On the shoulder, Heracles is depicted fighting with the lion and Iolao, his faithful companion and charioteer, is in the act of climbing into the quadriga, assisted by Athena.
The hydria is one of the liveliest and most successful works by the Acheloos Painter, a central figure in the Leagros Group. This Attic ceramic painter was active during the late period of black-figure production, at the same time as the pioneers of the new red-figure technique.