Terracotta bell-krater (mixing bowl), Attributed to the Sarpedon Painter, Terracotta, Greek, South Italian, Apulian

Terracotta bell-krater (mixing bowl)

Attributed to the Sarpedon Painter
Late Classical
ca. 400–380 B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Apulian
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 19 5/8 in. (49.9 cm)
diameter of mouth 22 3/8 in. (56.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1916
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 161
Obverse, Europa pleading with Zeus for the life of Sarpedon; Hera, Hypnos, Pasithea
Reverse, Europa with attendants watching Hypnos and Thanatos bringing the body of Sarpedon

The decoration probably reflects the Europa or Carians, a lost play by the Greek tragedian, Aischylos. The subject of the obverse is unusual and has posed difficulties of identification. The depiction of Sarpedon being transported by Sleep and Death to his native Lycia for burial originated in Athens, possibly with the painter Euphronios, and it assumed some currency on vases. With the numerous props indicating the abode of Zeus and Hera and of the enthroned Europa, the Apulian vase likely represents a specific theatrical interpretation.
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