Ancient Greece, Athens, ca. 500 BCE. A striking black-figure olpe featuring Nike - the winged goddess of victory, speed, and strength - in composite profile, donning flowing garments with incised drapery folds and trims, her wings projecting outwards, assuming a victorious pose that certainly demonstrates her power. She is flanked by a pair of attendants, a male and a female, each one standing in profile, facing Nike, and holding a very long spear. The entire composition is beneath an attractive register of alternating striated and beaded bands. Size: 5.375" in diameter x 8.75" H (13.7 cm x 22.2 cm)
This vessel presents a wonderful example of Attic black-figure painting - a painting technique from the Archaic period. The artist first painted with slipware and then carefully scratched into it with a type of needle in order to incise the lines, thus creating delightful figures and patterns. In this case, the artist has depicted Nike, a popular figure featured in a variety of tablewares from this period.
Provenance: ex-Cincinnati Art Museum, acquired in 1884, (accession no.1884.219); Property of Cincinnati Art Museum; Antiquities, Sotheby’s, New York, 14 December 1994, lot 258.
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