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Terracotta column-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water)

Attributed to Lydos

Period:
Archaic
Date:
ca. 550 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; black-figure
Dimensions:
Overall: 22 3/16 x 27 1/4 in. (56.4 x 69.3 cm); diameter 23 1/16 in. (58.6 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1931
Accession Number:
31.11.11
  • Description

    Obverse, Hephaistos on mule among satyrs and maenads
    Reverse, Dionysos among satyrs and maenads

    The symposium, conventionally interpreted as a drinking party, was a well-established feature of Greek—particularly Athenian— society. For over a century, representations on vases document that wine, women, and song were central ingredients. Even more worthy of emphasis, however, is the importance of the symposium as an institution that permitted citizens to gather, to transact business, and—as Plato's dialogue makes clear—to engage in serious discussion. An essential piece of equipment for the symposium was the vase in which the wine was diluted with water and from which it was served.
    In black-figure vase-painting before the last quarter of the sixth century B.C., the decoration of large, elaborate kraters tended to be mythological. (On red-figure vases, the symposium itself was often depicted.) This krater is of exceptional significance because it is one of the first on which wine, women, and song are presented, albeit in a mythological guise.
    The subject, which encompasses both sides of the vase, is the return of Hephaistos to Mount Olympos, the home of the gods. Hephaistos, the divine smith, was the son of Hera and Zeus. Because he was born lame, his mother cast him out of Olympos. In revenge, Hephaistos fashioned a throne that held Hera fast when she sat on it. only Hephaistos could release her. Therefore, he was given wine and escorted to Olympos by Dionysos, the god of wine, accompanied by his male and female followers, the satyrs and maenads.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1932–1933. "Lydos." Metropolitan Museum Studies, 4: no. 1, pp. 169-74, figs. 2-4, pl. 1.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. and Marjorie J. Milne. 1935. Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases. New York: Plantin Press, p. 7, figs. 43-44.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1939. Guide to the Collections: Ancient and Oriental Art--Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek and Roman Far Eastern, Near Eastern Oriental Armor, Vol. 1, World's Fair Edition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1944. Greek Painting: The Development of Pictoral Representation from Archaic to Graeco-Roman Times. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 59, 199, pl. 39a.

    Bandinelli, Ranuccio Bianchi. 1958. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 4. Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, p. 1003, fig. 1192.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1972. "Greek Vase Painting: An Introduction." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 31(1): no. 7, pp. 4, 20-21, 67.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1972. Greek Vase Painting: An Introduction. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, England, p/ 131.

    Beazley, John D. 1978[1956]. Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters. New York: Hacker Art Books, pp. 108, 684, no. 5, Add. 1, p. 108.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

    Beazley, John D. 1986[1951]. The Development of Attic Black Figure, Sather Classical Lectures, Vol. 24, 2nd edn. University of California: University of California Press, pp. 41, 99, n. 22, pls. 36, 37, 1.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1986. Atherion-Eros, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 3. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Dionysos, no. 563.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Hephaistos, no. 138a.

    1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Valavanis, Panos and Dimitris Kourkoumelis. 1996. Drinking Vessels. Athens: The Hatzimichalis Estate, pp. 58-59.

    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. 86, pp. 84, 422.

    Adam-Velenē, Polyxenē. 2011. Il dono di Dioniso : mitologia del vino nell'Italia centrale (Molise) e nella Grecia del Nord (Macedonia). The Gift of Dionysos. Salonicco (Thessalonikē): Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, pp. 121-3, fig. 3.

  • See also
253349

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