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

Period:
Late Classical
Date:
4th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; red-figure
Dimensions:
H. 19 9/16 in. (49.7 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1952
Accession Number:
52.11.18
  • Description

    Obverse, the death and apotheosis of Herakles
    Reverse, Amymone surprised by satyrs

    Horribly burned by a charm that his wife gave him in a misguided attempt to revive his love, Herakles had a funeral pyre built and threw himself on it to die. In the elaborate scene on the obverse, he is already in a quadriga (four-horse chariot) driven by Nike and preceded by Hermes and is on the way to Mount Olympos, where Dionysos, Apollo, and Ares await him. Herakles leaves behind on the fire a corselet signifying the husk of his mortal self. Below, Athena urges nymphs to quench the funeral pyre. The youths are Herakles' nephew, Iolaos, the hero Philoktetes (with quiver and bow), and probably Herakles' son, Hylos.
    The scene on the reverse is in rather light-hearted contrast. Beset by satyrs, Amymone is defending herself with an available thyrsos. She was finally rescued by Poseidon, who took her for himself. A spring, named after her, welled up where the god struck the ground with his trident.
    The power of water clearly connects the representations on each side of the vase.

  • References

    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.

    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. Aara-Aphlad, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 1. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Amymone, no. 15.

    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. 1984. Aphrodisias-Athena, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 2. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Apollon, no. 924.

    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, Herakles, no. 2917.

    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. 1990. Herakles-Kenchrias, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 5. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Hermes, no. 436a; Hyades, no. 6; Hyas, no. 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. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Philoktetes, no. 8.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
254710:1

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