Bell–krater (mixing bowl), ca. 350–325 b.c.; red–figure
Attributed to the Archidamos subgroup of the Chevron Group
Greek, South Italian, Apulian
Terracotta; H. 8 7/8 in. (22.53 cm)
Purchase by subscription, 1896 (96.18.22)
Obverse: seated woman with a phiale and branch
Reverse: head of a woman
Isolated heads are the most frequent decorative motif in South Italian vase painting. The majority of the heads are female and wear their hair pulled up in a headdress, such as the saccos worn by the female head on the reverse of this vase. On Apulian vases of smaller scale decorated with an isolated head, a single figure of a woman, youth, or Eros is often paired with it, painted on the opposite side. These figures carry a variety of objects that not only appear as grave offerings in funerary scenes, but often also have a ritual function, such as the phiale, or offering bowl, held by the woman on the obverse.