- An ATTRIBUTE
is a distinctive symbolic feature that identifies a character. Athena's attributes include armor, a cloak made of
serpents, and a chariot. Identify these attributes on the figure of Athena. Herakles' attributes include the short spiky hair of an
athlete and a short beard. Identify these attributes on the figure of Herakles. Identify the attributes of Hermes: a pointed traveling
hat, long red beard, and traveling staff.
Roll over the image to see specific attributes of Athena from the Hydria: white skin and serpent-haired cloak
Roll over the image to see specific attributes of Herakles from the Hydria: short spiky hair and short beard
Roll over the image to see specific attributes of Hermes from the Hydria: pointed traveling hat and long red beard:
- Which colors do you see?
Orange, black, white, and dark red. The orange comes from the color of the clay, while the black, white, and dark red were added to the surface before firing.
Where has the artist used a sharp tool to scrape through the layers of added color to reveal the orange clay beneath?
The figures on the main body of the hydria.
What details was he able to include with these lines?
Faces of humans and horses. Muscles of men and to a lesser extent horses. Athena's costume, chariot, harness,
Detail of reins from the Hydria
Use the Zoom feature
to explore the details.
- The people of ancient Greece valued harmonious proportion, order, and balance in their art.
How has the Antimenes painter achieved order, harmony, and balance in the color and shape of this hydria?
The shape of the hydria is
equal on both sides of an imaginary vertical line through the center. There are also equal
amounts of black and orange on the hydria; neither of these colors overpowers the other.
- Review the story of Herakles. The people of ancient Greece valued order, balance, and perfect proportion, not only in their art
but also in their daily lives.
How did the character of Herakles personify order, balance, and proportion?
Herakles possessed a balance of mortal and super god-like qualities. The proper proportions of physical strength, courage, and
hard work made him an ideal character.
- Herakles was a hero to the ancient Greeks because he embodied both mortal and superhuman qualities.
Can you think of any modern-day heroes that embody both mortal and superhuman qualities?
Superman, Wonder Woman, Power Rangers, X-Men, Spiderman, Xena Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman.
- The figures on the hydria look human, but they were gods to the Greek people who lived at the time. Explore the other works of
art in the World Mythology image set.
Do any of them represent mythological figures as human?
Orpheus and Eurydice, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Shoki the Demon Queller, Theseus.
Have you seen works of art that represent mythological figures as animals?
the antelope Chi Wara, Raven.
Are there works of art that represent mythological figures as some combination of the two?
Thoth, Nebuchadnezzar, Medusa, the Centaur in Theseus Slaying a Centaur.