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Toledo Museum of Art presents The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C. July 8-Oct. 1, 2017

Greek, Attic, attributed to the Berlin Painter, Red-figure amphora of Type A: A. Athena; B. Herakles, about 500–490 B.C. Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig

The first major museum exhibition focused on the art and career of the influential ancient Mediterranean artist known as the Berlin Painter will visit the Toledo Museum of Art July 8 through Oct. 1, 2017. Eighty-four vessels and statuettes of bronze and terracotta from the early fifth century B.C. will be shown – including dozens of the finest vases attributed to the Berlin Painter along with works by other noteworthy artists of the period.

University of Oxford scholar Sir John Beazley (1885-1970) identified the work of a single anonymous artist in over 200 vessels worldwide, and named him after a characteristically painted vase found in a museum in Berlin in 1911.

The exhibition features masterpieces on loan from 15 renowned museums and two private collections, including the British Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; J. Paul Getty Museum; Vatican Museums; Musée du Louvre and the Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

"The Berlin Painter and His World represents the exceedingly rare opportunity for the individual style of one of the most important and prolific ceramic artists in history to be traced through extraordinary works of art gathered together from around the world,” said TMA Director, President and CEO Brian P. Kennedy, Ph.D. “It also provides a rich glimpse of Athenian life 2,500 years ago.”

Divided into four sections – “The Berlin Painter’s World,” “The Berlin Painter’s Style,” “Gods” and “Heroes” – the exhibition explores a range of painted subjects, from athletics and musical performances to the rich body of Greek myth and epic.

“We look forward to making these wondrous works of ancient painting and ceramics approachable and engaging for contemporary audiences,” said Adam Levine, Ph.D., TMA associate director and associate curator of ancient art.

The exhibition was organized by J. Michael Padgett, Ph.D., curator of ancient art at the Princeton University Art Museum, and is on view there through June 11, 2017, before arriving at TMA the following month.

Greek, Attic, attributed to the Berlin Painter, Red-figure neck-amphora with ridged handles: Amazonomachy with Herakles (detail), about 490–480 B.C. Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig

The Berlin Painter and His World is accompanied by an extensive illustrated catalogue published by the Princeton University Art Museum, which includes nine essays and 84 object entries, including new attributions to the artist, by leading international scholars in the field.

Tickets to the special exhibition will be $10 for general admission; students and TMA members are free. A host of educational programs and events will be organized in conjunction with the exhibition.

The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C. has been organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. Major support for this exhibition has been provided by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Leon Levy Foundation.

The Toledo showing is made possible in part by Taylor Cadillac, Christie’s, Ohio Arts Council, James and Gregory Demirjian, Princeton University Alumni of Northwest Ohio, an anonymous donor, and generous gifts received in memory of Kurt Luckner with additional support from our 2017 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica.