Agora Object: Agora XXX, no. 288
Chronology:   Ca. 430 B.C.
Deposit:   H 5
Published Number:   AV 30.288
References:   Object: P 44
Object: P 5107
Two non-joining fragments, P 5107 with rim and body, P 44 of wall. Reserved line on side at rim; another 0.06 below rim. Glaze misfired greenish and reddish in places. P.H. P 5107: 0.127; est. diam. at rim 0.37; max. dim. P 44: 0.118. H. A. Thompson, Hesperia 6, 1937, pp. 47--49, figs. 27, 28; D. B. Thompson, Garden Lore in Ancient Athens (Agora Picture Book 8), Princeton 1963, fig. 46; LIMC IV, 1988, p. 638, no. 121, s.v. Hephaistos and p. 694, no. 314, s.v. Hera.

Upper zone: Return of Hephaistos. At the far left of P 5107 there is something that looks like the end of a torch, then parts of the heads, probably of two satyrs to right; next, top of the head of a third satyr, also to right, each head with a fillet, the third satyr holding a branch above his head in his right hand. Then comes Hephaistos (crown of filleted head, legs) on his donkey (foreparts), led by Dionysos, who is mostly frontal but looking back. He holds the reins of the donkey in his right hand and his kantharos and a thyrsos in his left, the end of the thyrsos resting on the ground. Dionysos wears a chiton and himation; around his head is a wreath. Above the donkey's head:

Above Dionysos' head:

At the far right, the left calf and foot of a satyr seen from the back. Above, part of a fillet(?). What appears to be an object between the face of Hephaistos and the top of his mule's head are the ears of the mule, the inside covered with glaze that fired red, like the strip on the mane and the stripe across the shoulder. The two bits of reserve directly behind Hephaistos just above the break are the tops of the handles of a kantharos held by him or by the satyr, perhaps the latter. On the rim below the torus, ivy with berries. Below, egg pattern with dots. P 44 preserves part of both zones. From the Return of Hephaistos (Fig. 19), the lower drapery decorated with a heavy black band just above its lower edge and the feet of a figure to right, the left foot raised and resting on a rock; at the break there is a little bit of drapery that belongs to an attendant. Next comes the lowermost part of Hera (drapery, one shod foot, end of scepter), seated to left (there are two lion's paw feet that form the base of a footstool and to the left of the staff, the end of something that may be a thyrsos held by the person who rests a foot on the stone). At the far right is the end of one front leg of the throne. Lower zone: youthful komasts. At the left, the hand of one who holds a torch and another (from the chest up) wearing a himation and holding a barbiton (ends of arms, crosspiece, part of strings), both to right, facing a third (from the waist up) standing frontally, head in profile to left, holding what looks like the handle of a dipper in his right hand. At the far right, a little bit of his cloak that hung from his left shoulder and arm (now missing). Both youths wear fillets. Between the two zones egg pattern with dots. Relief contour (much of it fired red). Dilute glaze: muscles; kantharos. Red: line below rim; another below fascia. White: inscriptions; berries and fillets (both yellowish: gilded[?]); contour of rock; lead line of donkey.

For the subject, see 115; M. Halm-Tisserant, "La représentation du retour d'Héphaïstos dans l'Olympe: Iconographie traditionelle et innovations formelles dans l'atelier de Polygnotos (440--430)," AK 29, 1986, pp. 8--22; more generally, Brommer, Hephaistos, pp. 10--17, 201--202 (288 is cat. no. 52 on p. 202 but is not mentioned in the text); LIMC IV, 1988, pp. 637--645, 652--654, s.v. Hephaistos (A. Hermary). For the seated Hera combined with the procession of Hephaistos on a donkey or a mule accompanied by Dionysos, see Halm-Tisserant, AK 29, 1986, pp. 20--22; LIMC IV, p. 638; also, Froning, Dithyrambos, pp. 67--71, as it applies to the volute-krater in Ferrara attributed to Polion: 3033 = T.127 (ARV2 1171, 1; Paralip. 459, 1; Addenda 338).

The figure of Hera on 288 with a frontal attendant is closest to the composition on the skyphos in Toledo attributed by Bothmer to the Kleophon Painter (82.88: CVA, Toledo 2 [USA 20], pl. 86 [969]:2 and p. 13 for the attribution; Matheson, Polygnotos, p. 379, cat. no. CUR 5, pl. 115: the Curti Painter). There, however, a satyr stands before Hera; the figure on 288, who rests a foot on a rock, is probably another attendant or a maenad. She may have looked something like the maenad who stands before a seated satyr on the volute-krater in Ferrara by Polion, mentioned above.

For the barbiton, see 196.

Connected by Thompson with the Eretria Painter but not firmly attributed to him (Hesperia 6, 1937, pp. 48--49).