Abstract – A Pseudo-Panathenaic Amphora by the Nikoxenos Painter
|December 1, 2012||Posted by Chris Miller under Art/Archaeology|
The purpose of the research is to identify and explain all aspects of the design and iconography of the name vase of the Nikoxenos Painter, a red figure pseudo-Panathenaic amphora discovered in Capua. The Nikoxenos Painter was active between c. 525-475 B.C.E., the period during which the shift from black figure to red figure vase painting occurred. He painted in both styles, and decorated a large number of pseudo-Panathenaic amphorae with unusual scenes that deviate significantly from standard Panathenaic iconography.
These deviations include such elements of iconography as a non-Panathenaic style Athena sacrificing before an altar without her aegis; the inclusion of cock columns on both sides of the vase, with roosters on only one side and another type of bird the other side; and use of a chiton and himation as Athena’s ensemble, rather than a peplos. These non-standard elements of iconography combine with red figure style to create a distinctly different impression from that on an official prize amphora.
Several explanations will be considered for the iconography of the vase: the way the tastes of the Italian market determined the repertoire of scenes depicted on vases made for exportation, the use of the Panathenaic amphora’s shape as a way of creating appealing souvenirs for visitors to the Games, and the purpose of the Panathenaic Games themselves as a means by which the iconography may be decoded.