One side with Triptolemos seated in a winged carriage with a stylised bird’s head atop the car’s crest rail. He is grasping a sceptre in his left hand and holding a phiale in his right, his hair in a krobylos, Demeter standing before him, wearing a long belted peplos and decorated polos, a sceptre in her left hand, her right hand pouring a libation into the phiale held by Triptolemos, Persephone standing to the left, holding a pair of torches, wearing a long belted peplos and a rayed diadem; the other side with three himation-clad youths, one holding a staff, one a spear, the third leaning on his staff and gesturing towards his companions; rays above the foot, linked lotus buds on the neck and top of the rim, a palmette flanked by scrolls on each handle-plate.
St. Louis City Art Museum: 40.21,
acquired in 1921
New York, 5 June 1999, lot 175
Triptolemos in ancient Greek myth was a demi god and one of
the Eleusinian princes, who welcomingly received the goddess Demeter when she
was mourning the loss of her daughter Persephone. In return Demeter instructed
Triptolemos in the ways of agriculture and sent him all over Greece to teach
mankind the art of growing grain. The scene depicted on the obverse of this
particular vase shows the moment just before Triptolemos departs on his Mission
in a winged chariot.
The Mission of Triptolemos is best known from representations
on Athenian vases, from their inception in the mid 6th century BC to
their finale in around 425 BC. From the surviving examples the theme of the
Mission was at the height of its popularity in the second half of the 5th
Beazley called the Duomo Painter after a lost column-krater
once housed in the cathedral of Agrigento.
More than 30 vases have been attributed to his hand. The Duomo Painter’s
depictions of the departure of Triptolemos were influenced by the Villa Giulia Painter,
who was also working in the second half of the 5th century BC.
‘Greek Painted Vases’,
Bulletin of the City Art Museum of St. Louis, vol.
7, No. 1, January 1922, p.11, fig 4
C. Dugas, 'La mission de Triptolème, d'après l'imagerie athénienne' in Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, tome 62, 1950, pp. 7-31, no. 86
J.D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figured Vase Painters, Vol. II, Oxford, 1968, p. 1117.6
Pleschow Bindokat, ‘Demeter und
Persephone in der attischen Kunst des 6. bis 4. Jahrhuderts v. Chr.’, Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen
Instituts, 87, 1972, p. 86. Fig. 19
Carpenter with T. Mannack, and M. Mendonca, Beazley
Addenda, Oxford, 1989, 331
VIII, pl. 39 TRIPTOLEMOS 125 (A)
Mannack, The Late Mannerists in Athenian
Vase-Painting, Oxford, 2001, pl. 37