Attributed to the Berlin Painter
About 480–470 BCE
Inscribed vertically: TON ATHENETHEN ATHLON (From the games at Athens)
Height 62.2 cm
Hood Museum of Art: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Winfield Smith, Class of 1918; C.959.53
Specially painted black-figure amphora, or two-handled jars, of this shape and size were commissioned and awarded as prizes at the Panathenaic games in Athens. It is the work of the Berlin Painter, considered to be one of the most accomplished vase painters of the period and so named for his magnificent red-figure amphora currently in the collection of the Berlin Museum. Panathenaic amphoras traditionally represent Athena standing between two Doric columns surmounted by cocks, and, on the reverse side, the event for which the vase was awarded. It is uncertain if the figures on the reverse of this piece depict wrestlers on pankratists, contenders in a more brutal event which combined both boxing and wrestling. The draped figure has most often been interpreted as a trainer or a judge of the games.