c. 490 BC
(Ancient Greek, -540--445)
Earthenware with slip decoration
Diameter: 14.1 cm (5 9/16 in.); Diameter of mouth: 8.7 cm (3 7/16 in.); Overall: 38 cm (14 15/16 in.); Diameter of foot: 10 cm (3 15/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1978.59
Douris was a most versatile painter, creating scenes of great delicacy, as on the Atalanta lekythos (1966.114), and scenes of great power, as here. In the mythological War of the Gods and Giants (Gigantomachy), Athena slays the giant Enkelados with her spear. He reels backward, his eyes rolling skyward. The giant's broken spear is a beautiful compositional bridge between the two figures. This scene may depict the victory of the Greeks (represented by Athena) over the Persians (represented by the Giant) at Marathon in 490 BC.
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