The image on this tile is taken from an Attic Panathenaic prize amphora, dating to ca 530BC and attributed to the Euphiletos Painter, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see image below). Unusually, and particularly rare on this type of vase, the potter has signed his name “Nikias” on the reverse.

These amphorae would have been filled with olive oil and given to the victors at the Panathenaia, a yearly festival held in honour of the patron goddess of the city, Athena. They typically depicted Athena on one side and, on the other, a featured sport.

Here, the artist has captured five men partaking in the stadion, a fast-sprint foot race, one of the earliest components of the Olympic Games. Their musculature is picked out by the use of incised lines, scratched into the surface of the black slip, and their hair is highlighted with added red paint. The five men appear to move in unison and their overlapping limbs give the impression of their tripping over each other in a bid to get to the finish line; we are led to believe that the race will be a close one.

black figure ceramic tile runners from Panathenaic amphora in the Metropolitan Museum                  black figure ceramic tile runners detail from Panatheniac amphora in the Metropolitan Museum

This tile is produced and hand-painted for us in Greece. There may be a slight variation in colour from piece to piece.

Should you wish to put these tiles in a bathroom or garden, we recommend that you apply a coat of transparent PVA sealant to protect them from rain and frost. They are supplied ready to hang, with a sturdy, embedded metal strip or, if preferred, they can be incorporated as features within a tiled wall.

dimensions etc Length: 50cm Height: 17cm Depth:1.5cm

black-figure ceramic tile - runners in competition

  • Code: KR-52
  • Status: In Stock
  • £150.00

  • excl tax: £125.00