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

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

Attributed to Polygnotos
ca. 450–440 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 14 3/16 in. (36 cm); diameter of mouth 15 1/16 in. (38.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1921
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Obverse, kitharode and three male listeners
Reverse, three youths

The principal scene shows a young man performing for three listeners. The instrument is a kithara, the type of lyre used for formal presentation. The artist's concern is to convey the response of each figure, from the deep introversion of the seated man to the gesture of the person behind him. This representation is characteristically classical in its emphasis on a state of being rather than on a narrative event.
Inscription: Inscribed: "Nikomas" (perhaps for Nichomachos) is handsome"
Said to be from Italy

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1923. "Athenian Pottery: Recent Accessions." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 18(11): p. 256.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 100, 240, pl. 80g, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. pp. 1029, 1602, no. 20, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Matheson, Susan B. 1995. Polygnotos and Vase Painting in Classical Athens. p. 22, pl. 47, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.