« السابقةمتابعة »
a substance as clay should be found at the present day in considerable numbers, our learned author ascribes to the custom of placing these with the dead, whose tombs were preserved from violation by a feeling of religious respect. He divides the vases into seven grand classes, according to the subject of their paintings: 1. Those relating to the divinities ; their wars with the giants, their amours, the sacrifices offered to thein, &c. 2. Those relative to the heroic ages; the most numerous as well as the most interesting, for they comprehend all the inythological facts from the arrival of Cadmus till the return of Ulysses to Ithaca; the Heracleïd, the Theseïd, the two wars of Thebes, the wars of the Amazons, the Argonautic expedition, and the war of Troy. 3. Dionysiac subjects : Bacchus, Satyrs, Silenus, Nymphs, dances, festivals, processions, &c. 4. Subjects of civil life : marriages, amorous scenes, feasts, hunting-parties, warriors, theatrical representations, &c. 5. Those relating to funeral ceremonies, a very numerous class. 6. Those relative to gymnastic exercises; and 7. Those alluding to the mysteries and preparatory ceremonies of initiation.
Most vases, says Mr. M., exhibit pictures on both sides, though one has seldom any relation to the other; that which is painted with the most care, may be considered as the principal face; on the reverse is generally found some gymnastic or Dionysiac subject. Vases abound in most parts of Greece, in the kingdom of Naples, and in Sicily; the finest have been discovered at Nola, Locri, and Agrigentum. As the potter's wheel, the art of modelling in elay, and even painting, are said to have been invented at Corinth, we may suppose this place the first in which painted vases were made ; probably about seven hundred years before the commencement of our era. But we must pass over without notice a multiplicity of curious and interesting remarks in the Introduction, and proceed to our author's explanation of the plates.
(Plate i.) represents that memorable punishment inflicted by Bacchus on Lycurgus, king of Thrace; a subject not yet discovered on any other monument of ancient art, though the story has been related by Homer, Hyginus, Apollodorus, &c.: inspired with madness by the offended deity, Lycurgus is seen killing his own wife and son, whilst be fancies that he is de stroying the vines of Bacchus. The vase which exhibits this painting once belonged to Mr. Millingen, and is now in the Royal Museum degli Studi at Naples: the subject was probably copied, says our author, from some ancient and celebrated picture : according to Pausanias (Attic, c. xx.), the punishment of
Lycurgus was represented in the temple of Bacchus at Athens (Plate ii.) shows the reverse or opposite side of this vase,
with figure of Bacchus caressing a young panther that sits upon his knees; a person standing before the god pours out a libation, and behind him are a Menade and two Satyrs.-(Plate i.) In this we see Perseus holding up the formidable head of Medusa, which turns into stone two Satyrs preparing to attack him.(Pl. iv.) illustrates the story of Peleus, who, having pursued the beautiful Nereid Thetis through various transformations, surprises her at last, and she consents to become his wife. The same vase exhibits another composition, (Pl. v.) presenting two different subjects; one consists of seven figures, a warrior attacked by Menades or Bacchants; the other, a combat in which five.warriors are engaged, and this, Mr. Millingen thinks, may represent some circumstances of the Trojan war, or perhaps a military dance, such as Xenophon denominates Aotosta (Cyrop. vi, vii.)- In (Pl. vi.) Medea appears sitting at the foot of a tree round which is twined a dragon or serpent; to this she offers a soporific potion, while Jason approaching with a sword, prepares to kill the monster, that he may seize the golden fleece preserved under its guardianship. Venus is seen on one side, encouraging the lovers in their enterprise ; and on the other side is a winged youth, whom Mr. M. regards as Alastor, 'ANGO TWA, the evil genius of Medea, often mentioned by the tragic authors: thus Euripides (in Medea, v. 1333.)
τον σον δ' 'Αλάστορ' εις έμ' έσκηψαν θεοί..(Pl. vii.) represents Æetes, king of Colchos, to whom Phryxus brings the golden fleece. Most of the circumstances in this composition might be supposed to indicate Jason; but Mr. M. considers the presence of Mercury as a decisive proof that Phryxus was the hero intended. (Pl. viii.) This subject, from a vase in the author's collection, alludes to the story of Cæneus, whom two centaurs attack, and overwhelm with branches of trees.-In (Pls. ix, and x.) we discover Theseus preparing to destroy Procrustes by means of the bed whereon this famous robber had tortured so many travellers.--(Pl. xi.) Hercules, or rather Theseus, as Mr. M. conjectures, overcomes the Marathonian bull, in presence of Minerva.—(Pl. xii.) represents Theseus offering a sacrifice to Neptune, and soliciting from this god the destruction of his son Hippolytus, whom Phædra had unjustly accused.-- Pl. xiii.) exhibits the unfortunate youth, with his stepmother Phædra, and the nurse, who appears from other monuments to bave acted a conspicuous part in this tragical adventure. The story of Orestes furuishes an interesting subject for (Pls. xiv, and xv.): we behold bim standing near the tomb of his father Agamemnon, at the foot of which sits Electra, his sister, with whom he proceeds to concert measures for the punishment of Clytemnestra and Ægisthus, who had usurped the throne ;-—and (Pl. xv.) represents probably the marriage of this usurper with the wicked mother of Orestes; for a male figure bearing the name of ΑΙΓΙΣΤΟΣ holds by the hand a fennale entitled ΚΛΥΤΕΜΝΕΣTPA, who wears a radiated crown, whilst another female seems to offer such a box or casket as usually contained the nuptial presents.-(Pl.xvi.) from a vase in the Royal Museum at Naples, relates to the same subject : Electra appears sitting on the step of a sepulehral monument, in an attitude expressing grief; her brother Orestes is near to her on one side, and on the other his friend Pylades. The subject of (Pl. xvii.), Mr. M. thinks, may have been taken from the Tragedy of Troilus, composed by Sophocles, but now lost. In this painting we see some Trojan women making libations and offerings at the tomb of Troilus, whose name is written on a column. He was the son of Priam, aud, although mentioned but once by Homer, (ll. xxiv. 257.) is celebrated in the work of Dares Phrygius as a most valiant hero, who, on the death of Hector, commanded the 'Trojan army and killed many Greeks with his own hand; he was slain at last by Achilles. The vase exhibiting this picture is the only monyment hitherto known that celebrates the memory of Troilus. (Pl. xviii.) Here, on a cippus, we perceive the name QOINIE ; by the side of this monument sits a young man seemingly engaged in conversation with a woman, who holds a casket of offerings to be placed on the cippus. Many personages in the heroic ages bore the name of Phoenix ; Mr. M. thinks it most probable that he to whom this painting refers, was the son of king Amyntor, and, together with Chiron, the preceptor of Achilles. In (Pl. xix.) is represented a sepulchral monument resembling a small temple, containing the figure of a warrior, the deceased, whose buckler and xinjiides are suspended from the wall; a. woman and a young man bring offerings to the tomb.-On a vase painted at least four hundred years before the Christian era, are two subjects, (Pls, xx, and xxi.) The first relates to a circumstance in the famous war of the seven chiefs against Thebes. We see Ampbiaraüs with his shield, helmet and two lances, and his Squire Baton, in a chariot drawn by four horses: a female figure precedes them, which appears to be Eriphyle, the wife of Amphiaraüs. The second picture represents also a quadriga with two warriors, whom 'we may suppose Amphilochus and Alemæon, the sons of Amphiaraüs: a woman likewise . precedes the car, and an inscription EPIØTAE shows her to be their mother Eriphyle. Mr. M. observes that there is some uncertainty respecting the two male figures, which may be Adrastus. and Polynices. (Pl. xxii.) alludes probably to an event mention: ed only by the scholiast on Euripides, (Phoenissæ, v. 53.) yet of some celebrity as it has afforded a subject for pictures on many vases : Tydens appears ready to kilt İsmene, near the fountain which afterwards bore her name. (Pl. xxii.) is from a vase in the Vatican Museum; it was published by Passeri, (Pict. in Vasc. Tom. III. Pl. cclxxx.) who pronounced its subject to be the Apotheosis of Hercules and Hebe. The ingenious Abbé Lanzi, not satisfied with this explanation, proposed another; regarding it as a scene from the Heraclides of Euripides. But our learned author with much diffidence states his reasons for supposing it to represent (Edipus at Colonos, with his daughter Antigone, Theseus, a fury, and other figures. On the reverse of this vase we find a very different subject, (Pl. xxiv.) Bacchus holding a vessel called cantharus, into which a young Satyr pours wine ; there are also Menades or Bacchantes, &c.-(Pl. xxv.) Jupiter under the form of a bull carries off Europa, wbilst Neptune seems to favor his brother's enterprise, by calming the waves. (Pl. xxvi.) represents young persons who, under the influence of a winged Love and of Venus, seem disposed to indulge in amorous dalliance. From employing their pencils on scenes of this kind, some ancient artists celebrated by Athenæus acquired the title of Pornographs, or painters of courtesans.-(Pl. xxvii.) exhibits the combat between Hercules and Geryon, who does not appear with three bodies, as generally described, but with three heads, such as Hesiod mentions (Theogon. v. 287.) Minerva encourages Hercules, and Mercury attends, holding an olive-branch. -In (Pl. xxviii.) Busiris, king of Egypt, having made preparations for killing Hercules, according to his annual custom of sacrificing a stranger, is here seen on the point of perishing by the hand of that hero, who, escaping from the slaves who had led him to the altar, attacks the tyrant with his ponderous club. Two women, of whom one plays on a double flute, the other holds a vase and a basket, appear as assistants at the intended sacrifice.---(Pls. xxix. and xxx.) relate to Apollo, who in the former is seen richly habited, and playing on the lyre; near him is a female engaged in divination by means of some small objects, shells, flints, or pieces of clay thrown on the ground; she
may be supposed a priestess ; and a young man on the other side of Apollo has perhaps come to consult the divinity at Delphos. On the reverse of this vase Hercules appears carrying off the sacred tripod of the Delphic Oracle, and Apollo, holding a branch of laurel, endeavours to regain it, while the Pythian priestess Xenoclea, terrified at the dispute, waits to see the result from a window of her dwelling.-(Pl. xxxi.), a vase of considerable antiquity in the Royal Museum at Naples, represents the contest between Hercules and Eryx ; as on most océ casions Minerva and Mercury attend the Grecian hero. This subject has not hitherto been discovered on any other monument. -(Pl. xxxii.) also exhibits a subject for the first time-Hercules struggling with Nereus, who had assumed the form of halfman, half-fish.-In (Pl. xxxii.) Hercules appears wielding his club against the Centaur Dexamenus, whose name is written in the boustrophedon manner: Dejanira and Eneus also are seen ; and the difficulties of this subject are happily removed by a passage which our ingenious author has discovered in the Scholiast of Callimachus, on the following line: Βούρά τε, Δεξαμενοϊο βοόστασις Οινιάδαο. Hymn. in Del. ν. 10€. -l'he same vase, on its reverse, (Pl. xxxiv.) offers a scene from civil life; a man of middle age seems listening to the animated conversation of two women: the name ITAAAES is inscribed over his head, and refers, in Mr. M's opinion, to the person for whom this vase was destined.(Pl. xxxv.) shows Hercules awaking from his slumbers, and four Satyrs or Cercopians who during the hero's sleep had stolen his bow, his quiver, and club, and are now seen running off much alarmed.--(Pls. xxxvi, xxxvii, and xxxvïï.) are from a most beautiful and valuable vase in the collection of Prince Torrella at Naples. Its principal face represents the Apotheosis of Hercules, who is introduced among the gods by Minerva; this goddess brings him in her car drawn by four magnificent horses. The reverse of this painting exbibits a combat of Amazons, with some warriors; and the vase, round its neck, is ornamented with Dionysiac figures of young men dancing to the sounds of a double flute, on which a woman plays. We see also a woman offering wine to two wart riors, and a young mau who brings a vessel containing probably oil or perfumes used on coming from the bath.-In (Pl. xxxix.) a female elegantly attired is seated on the steps of a sepulchral monument, attended by an old woman, such as we may suppose the nurses who generally accompanied young princesses on the ancient Greek stage; another woman brings a perfume-vessel, a garland, and a basket. The reverse (Pl. xl.) exhibits a man crowned with myrtle, who presents a cup or patera to a female richly dressed. These paintings do not offer any circumstance sufficiently marked to authorise conjectural explanation. In