Apulian Black Glazed Guttus: Gorgon Head
An ancient Apulian Greek black glazed guttus, an oil vessel, with a loop handle and funnel spout. The central disk is moulded with a Gorgoneion. She has long flowing hair and her mouth open as if shouting.
Apulia, Magna Graecia, Southern Italy.
Gorgons were frightful witch-like female deities in Greek mythology. Medusa, whose gaze could turn a man to stone, is the most well known. Gorgons were protective deities whose very visage inspired fear. These apotropaic images on vases were meant to scare off all manner of threats.
cf.: CVA, fascicule 14, Krannert Art Museum, (1989), pl. 64.
Formerly in a Belgian private collection.