Tuesday, 20 September 2022

The Steinhardt hydria attributed to the Antimenes painter

Source of images: Manhattan DA.

Among the items seized from the Michael Steinhardt collection and returned to Italy was an Attic black-figured hydria attributed to the Antimenes painter. The hydria had been identified from an image in the Medici Dossier.

The Manhattan DA reports that the hydria had first surfaced with Robin Symes in 1983 (when it was advertised in Apollo). The statement then adds:
By 1987, Symes had transferred the object to the New York-based Atlantis Gallery, part-owned by Robert Hecht, who then loaned it to the Getty Museum. From 1987-1996, the object was on view at the Getty Museum prior to its sale to Steinhardt through Sotheby’s New York on December 17, 1996. 
Steinhardt is report to have purchased the hydria from Sotheby's for $169,411.

The Beazley Archive (BAPD 31596) provides the loan number for the Getty (L87.AE.4) as well as the details for the Sotheby's New York sale (17 December 1996, lot 49). It also suggests that the hydria passed through the Royal-Athena Galleries though this information may not be correct.

Christopher Chippindale and I had rehearsed the history of this specific hydria in our review article of The Medici Conspiracy (2007) [see here]. We clarify that the hydria was placed on loan at the Getty in January 1987, and returned in February 1996. This raises a question about the nature and purpose of loans that were placed at the Getty.

It should be recalled that one of the Attic black-figured neck-amphorae seized from Fordham University was attributed to the circle of the Antimenes painter (BAPD 24304).

It should be noted that the identification of the Steinhardt hydria was made by Associate Professor Christos Tsirogiannis. 

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