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Black Figure Hydria depicting Herakles and the Nemean Lion

Black Figure Hydria depicting Herakles and the Nemean Lion

Attributed to: Alkmene Painter (Greek, active 6th century BC)

Date: c. 530 - 510 BC
Medium: terracotta
Dimensions:
Overall: 18 x 16 x 13 in. (45.7 x 40.6 x 33 cm)
Credit Line: Gift, Mr. Edwin A. Quier
Object number: 1930.301.1
The subject matter on this vessel depicts the hero Herakles overpowering the Nemean lion, the first of his labors received as punishment in the service of the Argive king, Eurystheus, guided by the goddess Hera. The painter has chosen to depict the most dramatic moment in the narrative: the hero holds the beast by the throat with his left hand and prepares to strike the lion with the club he holds in his right hand. At the right, the goddess Athena, carrying a high-crested Attic helmet, wearing an aegis over a peplos, and carrying a spear, walks away from the scene. At the left stands a figure tentatively identified as the nymph Nemea or Alkmene, mother of Herakles.
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