Terracotta bell-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water), Terracotta, Greek, Attic

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

ca. 440–430 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. as restored 11 1/4 in. (28.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.229.14a, b, f, g, i, j, k
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Obverse, Athena, Athanasia, the wounded Tydeus with the head of Melanippos
Reverse, satyr

The obverse depicts a remarkable, and key, episode in the myth of the Seven against Thebes. Eteokles and Polyneices, sons of Oedipus, join a force to regain control of their city, Thebes. Tydeus, an ally, was morally wounded by Melanippos, a Theban. Athena had intended to heal and confer immortality on Tydeus. As she approached, she saw Tydeus gnawing the head of Melanippos, and revolted by his action, she departed, taking Athanasia with her. The krater shows the failing Tydeus with Melanippos' head at his feet and Athena drawing away Athanasia, who raises her hands in horror.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1946. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey. p. 131, fig. 100, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 101, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1958[1946]. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey, Revised Edition, 2nd edn. p. 131, fig. 100, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. pp. 383, 686 n. 73, Cambridge, England.

Shapiro, Harvey Alan. 1993. Personifications in Greek Art: The Representation of Abstract Concepts, 600-400 B.C.. pp. 34, 365, 230–31, fig. 3, Zürich: Akanthus.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1997. Thespiades-Zodiacus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 8. Tydeus, no. 17a, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.