Monday, 19 September 2022

Robert Hecht and the Princeton painter

Neck-amphora fragments attributed to the Princeton painter
Formerly New York MMA inv. 1991.11.2.

In 1991 the Metropolitan Museum received a gift of a fragmentary black-figured neck-amphora showing Herakles, Athena and Hermes, from Dietrich von Bothmer (inv. 1991.11.2). It was attributed to the Princeton painter by von Bothmer (according to Mary B. Moore); BAPD suggests that the person who attributed the fragments was 'unknown'. Moore observes that the amphora was 'broken and mended with significant parts missing'. The restorer of the amphora is not indicated. The amphora was among a batch of antiquities seized from the museum in 2022 and returned to Italy.

Although the Beazley Archive suggests that the amphora had formed part of the Bothmer collection (BAPD 9023766), the MMA  online catalogue entry suggests that it was in fact purchased from Atlantis Antiquities in 1991. This implies that Bothmer had supplied the funds to purchase the fragments from the gallery that was part owned by Robert Hecht

Atlantis Antiquities has already been associated with a number of returns from North American collections that include:
  • An Attic black-figured lekythos attributed to the Diosphos painter from Boston, Museum of Fine Arts
  • An Attic black-figured amphora attributed to the painter of Berlin 1686 from The J. Paul Getty Museum
  • An Attic black-figured amphora attributed to the Antimenes painter from the Steinhardt collection
  • An Apulian amphora attributed to the Darius painter from Boston, Museum of Fine Arts
  • An Apulian loutrophoros attributed to the Metope group from The J. Paul Getty Museum
In some of these cases the restorations had been undertaken by Fritz Bürki. 

It is known that Hecht was the source for some of the pot fragments in Bothmer's collection. 

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