Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragmentary terracotta column-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water)

Attributed to Lydos
ca. 560 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-figure
Height (height of main composition): 11 7/16 in., 25.8 mm (29 × 257.5 cm)
Height (height of frieze below): 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and Dietrich von Bothmer, Christos G. Bastis, The Charles Engelhard Foundation, and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gifts, 1997 (1997.388a-eee)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan P. Rosen, 1996 (1996.56a,b)
Gift of Dietrich von Bothmer, 1997 (1997.493)
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 155
One side, Hephaistos on a donkey accompanied by satyrs and maenads
Under one handle, satyrs filling a krater, satyrs and maenads
Under the opposite handle, satyr filling a vase at a volute-krater, maenad with wineskin
Below, Herakles driving the cattle of Geryon

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is exceptionally fortunate in being able to juxtapose two monumental depictions of the same subject, on the same shape, by the same superlative artist.
The complete column-krater 31.11.11 presents the two protagonists, Hephaistos and Dionysos, as focal points on opposite sides. The gods are thoroughly integrated, however, into the line of satyrs and maenads who advance at a deliberate pace; one can almost hear their heavy steps. While every figure is characterized by his pose and painstakingly articulated, there are no identifying inscriptions. And although there is the paraphernalia of drinking—wineskins and drinking horns—everyone is sober.
The fragmentary krater 1997.388a–eee offers a decidedly more vivacious interpretation. However incomplete, the sections below the handles make clear that wine is being liberally dispensed, and the central portion with Hephaistos depicts some of the consequences. Moreover, there are numerous inscriptions giving the names of the figures and identifying the donkey. The well-preserved surface shows not only the fine incision but also the liberal application of red and white color.
The zone of cattle that circumambulate the krater below the main scene might appear to be simply the continuation of an earlier tradition. Through the addition of Herakles, however, the subject has been transformed into one of the hero's labors. Herakles journeyed to the distant home of the three-bodied Geryon and killed him in order to obtain his herd of cattle.
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. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Molpaios, no. 1, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

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. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Oukalegon II, no. 1; Philopos, no. 1; Silenoi, no. 29b, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Oenbrink, Werner. 1996. "Ein 'Bild in Bild' Phaenomen -- Zur Darstellung figuerlich dekorieter Vasen auf bemalten attischen Tongefaessen." Hephaistos, 14. pp. 94, 100-4, figs. 9-10, Berlin: Lit Verlag.

Picón, Carlos A., Joan R. Mertens, and Elizabeth J. Milleker. 1998. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1997–1998: Ancient World." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 56(2): p. 8.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1998. "One Hundred Twenty-eighth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 128: p. 16.

Padgett, J. Michael. 2000. "The Stable Hands of Dionysos: Satyrs and Donkeys as Symbols of Social Marginalization in Attic Vase Painting." Not the Classical Ideal: Athens and the Construction of the Other in Greek Art, Beth Cohen, ed. p. 47 n. 14, Leiden: Brill.

Lawall, Mark. 2001. "Notes from the Tins: Research in the Stoa of Attalos, Summer 1999." Hesperia, 70(2): p. 171 n. 42.

Hedreen, Guy Michael. 2004. "The Return of Hephaistos, Dionysiac Processional Ritual, and the Creation of a Visual Narrative." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 124: p. 41 n. 13.

Moore, Mary B. 2006. "Hoplites, Horses, and a Comic Chorus." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 41: p. 46.

Mcphee, Ian. 2006. "Point and Counterpoint: Painted Vases on Attic Painted Vases." Antike Kunst, 49: pp. 32–33, pl. 7.

Kreuzer, Bettina. 2009. "Warum heute noch Malerzuschreibungen? Das Beispiel Lydos." Hermeneutik der Bilder. Beiträge zur Ikonographie und Interpretation griechischer Vasenmalerei [Beihefte zum Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, vol. 4], Stefan Schmidt and Dr. John H. Oakley, eds. p. 148, fig. 5, München: C. H. Beck.

Clark, Andrew. 2009. "Some Practical Aspects of Attic Black-figured Olpai and Oinochoai." Shapes and Uses of Greek Vases (7th - 4th centuries B.C.): Proceedings of the Symposium held at the Université libre de Bruxelles 27-29 April 2006, Athéna Tsingarida, ed. pp. 90-1, 104, fig. 3, Bruxelles: Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine.

Moore, Mary B. 2010. "Hephaistos Goes Home: An Attic Black-figured Column-krater in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 45: pp. 21–54, figs. 1–5, 11–14, 16, 19, 22–23, 25–34, 36.

Mackay, Anne. 2010. Tradition and Originality: A Study of Exekias. pp. 48-9 n. 5, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hirayama, Toko. 2010. Kleitias and Attic Black-figure Vases in the Sixth Century B.C.. p. 77, figs. 5i, j, Tokyo: Chuo Koron Bijutsu Shuppan.

Sparkes, Brian. 2011. Greek Art, Papers of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vol. 40, 2nd edn. pp. xi, 134-35, 148, fig. 43, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Shapiro, H.A., Mario Iozzo, and Adrienne Lezzi-Hafter. 2013. The François Vase: New Perspectives, Vol. 1. pp. 72-73, 76, Zurich: Akanthus.

Gaunt, Jasper. 2015. "Toward the Derveni Krater: On the Rarity of Large Bronze Vessels of the Archaic and Classical Periods Bearing Large Figural Registers." Artistry in Bronze : The Greeks and Their Legacy : XIXth International Congress on Ancient Bronzes, Jens M. Daehner, Dr. Kenneth Lapatin, and Ambra Spinelli, eds. p. 220 [p. 218 n. 39], Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.

Hedreen, Guy Michael. 2016. The Image of the Artist in Archaic and Classical Greece: Art, Poetry, and Subjectivity. pp. 212–17, figs. 37–39, pl. XVI, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hedreen, Guy Michael. 2016. "So-and-So Kalos." Epigraphy of Art: Ancient Greek Vase-Inscriptions and Vase-Paintings, Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, ed. pp. 67–68, fig. 7, Oxford: Archaeopress.

Yatromanolakis, Dimitrios. 2016. Epigraphy of Art: Ancient Greek Vase-Inscriptions and Vase-Paintings pp. 67–68, fig. 7, Oxford: Archaeopress.

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