Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta krater

Attributed to the Workshop of New York MMA 34.11.2
late 1st quarter of the 8th century B.C.
Greek, Attic
H. 39 in. (99.1 cm) diameter 37 in. (94 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1934
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 150
The funerary purpose of this krater is indicated by the prothesis scene—the laying out of the deceased—in the central metope on each side of the vase. Of particular interest are the images of battles on and around the two ships. The center of one ship is occupied by a figure seated under an awning as two warriors fight with swords near the stern. The central portion of the other ship is missing. The archer on the prow of this vessel, the warrior just above the prow, the proximity of the foot soldiers as well as the birds perched on the sterns of both ships suggest that the vessels are beached or at least close enough to be boarded from the shore. The person of rank under the awning, the variety of combatants, and the number of foot soldiers—even if they are repeated for decorative purposes—indicate that a specific event is depicted.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1934. "A Colossal Dipylon Vase." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 29(10): pp. 169–72, figs. 1–3.

Alexander, Christine. 1939. Early Greek Art: A Picture Book. p. 124, fig. 66, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Schadewaldt, Wolfgang. 1942. "Homer und sein Jahrhundert." Das Neue Bild der Antike, Vol. 1 Hellas, Helmut Berve, ed. p. 82, fig. 17, Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 25, 174, pls. 14d, 14f, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Kübler, Karl. 1954. "Die Nekropole des 10. bis 8. Jahrhunderts." Kerameikos: Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen, Vol. 5.1. pp. 158, 178, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co.

Shefton, Brian. 1954. "Three Laconian Vase-painters." Annual of the British School at Athens, 49:

Boardman, John. 1955. "Painted Funerary Plaques and Some Remarks on Prothesis." Annual of the British School at Athens, 50: p. 55 n. 23.

Brann, Eva T. H. 1961. "Late Geometric Well Groups from the Athenian Agora." Hesperia, 30(2): p. 97 n. 13.

Oakeshott, Noel R. 1966. "Horned-head Vase Handles." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 86: pp. 122–23.

Hood, R. G. 1967. "A Geometric Oenochoe with Ship Scene in Hobart." American Journal of Archaeology, 71(1): pp. 85–86.

Boardman, John, José Dörig, Prof. Werner Fuchs, and M. Hirmer. 1967. The Art and Architecture of Ancient Greece. London: Thames and Hudson Inc.

Coldstream, John Nicolas. 1968. Greek Geometric Pottery: A Survey of Ten Local Styles and Their Chronology. pp. 23 n. 7, 26-8, 349 n. 10, London: Methuen.

Morrison, John S. and Roderick T. Williams. 1968. Greek Oared Ships, 900-322 B.C.. pp. 30-2, pls. 5-6.a-b, London: Cambridge University Press.

Kyrieleis, Helmut. 1969. "Throne und Klinen." Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 24: p. 102 n. 432.

Ahlberg-Cornell, Gudrun. 1971. Prothesis and Ekphora in Greek Geometric Art, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology. fig. 1, Göteborg: Paul Aströms Förlag.

Kaufmann-Samaras, A. 1973. Archaiologikon Deltion, 28: p. 218 n. 15.

Hurwit, Jeffrey M. 1977. "Image and Frame in Greek Art." American Journal of Archaeology, 81(1): p. 20.

Brooklyn, Jerrie Pike. 1981. "Attic Black-figure Funerary Plaques. Ph.D. diss." Ph.D. Diss. p. 99. University of Iowa.

Schäfer, Jörg. 1983. "Steps Toward Representational Art in 8th Century Vase Painting. General Discussion on Art and Literature." The Greek Renaissance of the Eighth Century B.C.: Tradition and Innovation: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 1-5 June, 1981, Robin Hägg, ed. p. 77, fig. 3, Stockholm: Svenska Institutet i Athen.

Hurwit, Jeffrey M. 1985. The Art and Culture of Early Greece, 1100-480 B.C.. p. 96, fig. 38, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Ahlberg-Cornell, Gudrun. 1987. "Games, Play and Performance in Greek Geometric Art: The Kantharos Copenhagen NM 727 Reconsidered." Acta archaeologica, 58: p. 61, fig. 10.

Langdon, Susan. 1993. From Pasture to Polis: Art in the Age of Homer p. 45, fig. 10, Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri.

Isler-Kerényi, Cornelia. 1997. Athenian Potters and Painters: The Conference Proceedings, William Coulson and Dr. Olga Palagia, eds. p. 528, fig. 5, Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Weber, Martha. 1999. "Die bildsprache des Hirschfeldkraters." Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung, 114: p. 30 n. 8.

Reber, Karl. 1999. "Apobaten auf einem geometrischer Amphorenhals." Antike Kunst, 42(2): p. 133 n. 25.

Moore, Mary B. 2000. "Ships on a 'Wine-Dark Sea' in the Age of Homer." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 35: pp. 13–38, figs. 1–14.

Mertens, Joan R. 2010. How to Read Greek Vases. no. 5, pp. 24, 30, 46-52, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Aruz, Joan, Sarah B. Graff, and Yelena Rakic. 2014. Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age pp. 21–22, fig. 1.8, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Related Objects

Pair of terracotta volute-kraters (vases for mixing wine and water) with stands

Date: 3rd quarter of the 4th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 1995.53.2a, b On view in:Gallery 160

Pair of terracotta volute-kraters (vases for mixing wine and water) with stands

Date: 3rd quarter of the 4th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 1995.53.1a, b On view in:Gallery 160

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

Date: ca. 430 B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 07.286.65 On view in:Gallery 159

Terracotta krater

Date: ca. 750–735 B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 14.130.14 On view in:Gallery 150

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

Date: ca. 550 B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 31.11.11 On view in:Gallery 155