Terracotta chariot krater

Late Helladic IIIA:1
ca. 1375–1350 B.C.
Helladic, Mycenaean
H. 14 7/16 in. (36.7 cm) diameter 10 11/16 in. (27.2 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
  • Description

    During the fourteenth century B.C. broad and deep-bodied kraters, often decorated with complex pictorial scenes, were produced in Greece, particularly in the Argolid and in Cyprus. A great number of these works came to light on Cyprus, and they were often attributed to artists working in a Cypro-Mycenaean idiom. Evidence had increasingly indicated that trade between the Argolid and Cyprus was active and that the pictorial vases were a major commodity made on the mainland and traded eastward, probably for their contents as well as the ware itself. Scientific tests have corroborated these findings. Recent analyses have shown that this chariot krater came from a well-attested workshop in the vicinity of Mycenae and Berbati.
    The chariot was an important motif in art from the Greek mainland; its frequency on Mycenaean pictorial vases has characterized an entire subgroup. These vases were probably connected with funerary practices, and, in some regions, they may have served as sarcophagi. The occupants of the chariots may be the deceased, while the ancillary figures may be deities or participants in funerary observances.

  • Provenance

    Probably from Maroni, between Larnaca and Limasol, Cyprus

  • References

    Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 436.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 14, 164, pl. 4f.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo National Museum, and Kyoto Municipal Museum. 1972. Treasured Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tokyo: Tokyo National Museum, no. 27, fig. 27.

    Slenczka, Eberhard. 1974. Figürlich bemalte mykenische Keramik aus Tiryns, Tiryns : Forschungen und Berichte, Vol. 7. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, pl. 40.3.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik, no. 8.

    Rystedt, Eva. 1990. "On Distinguishing Hands in Mycenaean Pictorial Vase-Painting." Opuscula Atheniensia, 18: p. 173, fig. 3.

    Karageorghis, Vassos, Dr. Joan R. Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 70, pp. 47-48.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 271, pp. 234, 459-60.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History