Campanian Red-Figure Bail Amphora from a Cumae Workshop, 330-300 B.C
A ceramic red-figure bail amphora with round-section strap handle and pierced lug at the apex, tall waisted neck with vertical rib detailing, rounded shoulder with running wave pattern ornament, tapering body with figural designs of standing females wearing a himation and a stephane in red and white on black ground, one figure holding a thyrsus and the other an ear of corn, with accessories in the field; flared base; from a workshop in Cumae, (Campania) which was the oldest Greek colony in the West and was surrounded by an imposing fortification.
The bail amphora, named for the tall handle arching over the mouth, was a shape made primarily in Campania, where red-figure vases were produced at both Capua and Cumae in the 4th century B.C. The decoration offered a remarkable range of subjects associated not only with mythological images, but with representations of the local life, costumes and customs. The simple, single figure compositions decorating each side of this vase are also characteristic of the style, which tended to avoid complex mythological scenes often found on much larger vessels like volute craters, favouring representation of the daily life of south Italic people.
- In the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, inventory no. 50.250.
- British Museum, London, inventory no. 1772.0320.77
- Trendall, A.D., The Red-Figured Vases of Lucania, Campania and Sicily, Oxford, 1967, no. 4, p. 353.
For another amphora with a similar motif, see p. 322, no. 706, pl. 12; Ede, C., Images, London, 2019, pp. 49, 101.