O2.1 THE SACRIFICE OF ALCMENA
|Museum Collection||British Museum, London|
|Catalogue No.||London 1890,0210.1|
|Beazley Archive No.||N/A|
|Ware||Paestan Red Figure|
|Painter||Signed by Python|
|Date||ca. 360 - 320 B.C.|
Alcmena is seated upon a pyre of logs framed by the arc of a rainbow. Two Nephelae (Cloud-Nymphs) holding water-jugs douse the fire with rain. Amphitryon stands to one side with sword drawn as an attendant applies burning brands. Zeus and Hera, seated amongst the clouds, witness the scene. According to the myth Amphitryon placed his wife on the pyre to test the veracity of her claim that Zeus had stolen her virginity in the guise of her new husband. The god quenched the flames, saving her life and verifying her claims.
Detail of Alcmena and the Nephelae.