Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta krater with lid surmounted by a small hydria

Attributed to the Cesnola Painter
ca. 750–740 B.C.
Greek, Euboean
H. 45 1/4 in. (114.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 152
Said to be from Kourion, Cyprus

During the eighth century B.C., the Geometric style that had originated in Athens spread throughout the Greek-speaking world. This beautifully proportioned vase found on Cyprus differs in a number of ways from the three monumental Geometric kraters from Attica displayed elsewhere in this gallery. The shoulder is subdivided by four handles rather than two, and the carpetlike decoration was applied over a light ceramic slip ground instead of directly onto the clay. Since the 1870s, scholars have debated where the vase was made; current opinion attributes it to a workshop on Euboea, an island just off the east coast of Attica, rather than to the island of Naxos, in the Cyclades.
In the center panel, between the handles, two stags or goats rise on their hind legs to nibble at a tree. While the graceful long-legged animals are represented in a typically Geometric style, the motif of animals flanking a sacred tree derives from Near Eastern art. The double axes used to fill the space above the horses that face the central panel bring to mind examples from the Minoan culture that flourished on Crete during the second millennium B.C. A number of Minoan bronze votives in this form are displayed elsewhere in the gallery.
Said to be from Kourion, Cyprus

Poulsen, Frederik. 1905. Die Dipylongräber und die Dipylonvasen. p. 126–27, Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 1701, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 25, 174, pl. 14c, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Coldstream, John Nicolas. 1968. Greek Geometric Pottery: A Survey of Ten Local Styles and Their Chronology. p. 172, n. 1, London: Methuen.

Buchner, Giorgio. 1970–1971. "Recent Work at Pithekoussai (Ischia) 1965-71." Archaeological Reports, 17: p. 67.

Gjerstad, Einar, Yves Calvet, Vassos Karageorghis, and Jean-Paul Thalmann. 1977. Greek Geometric and Archaic Pottery Found in Cyprus. p. 29, n. 91, pl. IX, Stockholm: Svenska Institutet i Athen.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1979. Greek Art of the Aegean Islands. no. 63, pp. 112–13, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Coldstream, John Nicolas. 1981. "Some Pecularities of the Euboean Geometric Style." Annuario della Scuola archeologica di Atene e delle missioni italiane in Oriente, 59: pp. 241–49, fig. 3.

Coldstream, John Nicolas. 1994. "Pithekoussai, Cyprus and the Cesnola Painter." Apoikia : i più antichi insediamenti greci in Occidente : funzioni e modi dell'organizzazione politica e sociale : scritti in onore di Giorgio Buchner, Bruno D'Agostino, Francesca R. Ridgway, and Giorgio Buchner, eds. pp. 77–86, fig. 1, Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples.

Coldstream, John Nicolas. 1994. "A Figured Attic Geometric Kantharos from Kition." Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus (RDAC), : p. 158.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 134, pp. 84–85, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Moore, Mary B. 2004. "Horse Care as Depicted on Greek Vases before 400 B.C." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 39: pp. 35, 43–44, fig. 14.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 28, pp. 47, 413, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Aruz, Joan, Sarah B. Graff, and Yelena Rakic. 2014. Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age pp. 258–59, fig. 4.6, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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