Hydria with Heracles and Apollo fighting for the Delphic Tripod

Fired and painted clay
Black-figure technique
Attica (Greece)
Madrid Painter
530 BC

The scene that decorates this vessel narrates an episode from the legend of Heracles: his confrontation with the god Apollo to claim the Delphic Tripod and its oracular power. Heracles, the civilising hero who imposed order over chaos, was also the model hero of the Greek aristocracy who based their moral code on the exaltation of competitive values, which this hero epitomised.


The scenes painted on Greek pottery tell us much about daily life in the Greek polis: its social structure, the status of men and women and the activities they performed, and the world of their gods and heroes. The different scenes also bear witness to the importance of Greek trade in the Mediterranean, from the eighth to the fourth century BC, and to the legacy of that ancient culture which still lives on today.

Cratera de la locura de Heracles, detalle