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

Attributed to the Group of Boston 00.348

Period:
Late Classical
Date:
ca. 360–350 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, South Italian, Apulian
Medium:
Terracotta; red-figure
Dimensions:
H. 20 1/4 in. (51.5 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1950
Accession Number:
50.11.4
  • Description

    Obverse, artist painting a statue of Herakles
    Reverse, Athena with deities

    Representations of artists at work are exceedingly rare. This vase illustrates a craft for which virtually no evidence survives, that of applying pigment to stone sculpture using the technique of encaustic. The column and phiale (libation bowl) at the far left indicate an interior space, probably a sanctuary. In the foreground stands a statue of Herakles with his club, bow, and lion-skin. The painter, characterized by his cap and his garment worn to leave his upper body bare, applies a mixture of pigment and wax with a spatula to Herakles’ lion-skin. To the left, an African boy tends the brazier
    on which rods are heating that will spread the tinted wax. Above, Zeus, ruler of the gods, and Nike, personification of victory, preside as Herakles himself ambles in from the right to survey his image.
    The reverse, in an outdoor setting, shows Herakles’ staunch protectress, Athena, seated in conversation with one of the Dioskouroi. To the left, Hermes, the messenger god, turns away from Pan, his son, while Eros plays with a bird below. Surely complementary, the pictures may refer to the apotheosis of Herakles. Rather than driving to Mount Olympos in a chariot, Herakles sees himself monumentalized in stone, while Athena, her task accomplished, takes her ease between divine travelers.

  • Provenance

    Acquired March 8, 1950, purchased from Robert Hecht, Rome.

  • References

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1951. "Enkaustes Agalmaton." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9 (6): pp. 156-61.

    Cagiano de Azevedo, Michelangelo. 1951. "Notiziario: Mostra di Pittura Etrusca." Bollettino dell'Istituto Centrale del Restauro, 5-6: p. 107.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 116, 256, pl. 96e.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1959. Handbook of Greek Art. London: Phaidon Press, p. 275, fig. 395.

    Cambitoglou, Alexander and Arthur Dale Trendall. 1961. Apulian Red-Figured Vase-Painters of the Plain Style. New York: Archaeological Institute of America, no. I, p. 19.

    Shefton, Brian. 1962. "Herakles and Theseus on a Red-Figured Louterion." Hesperia, 31: p. 368.

    Stenico, Arturo. 1966. "Statua, Pittore della." Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 7, Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, ed. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, p. 484.

    Borda, Maurizio. 1966. Ceramiche Apule. Bergamo: Istituto Italiano d'arti grafiche, pp. 40, 78, 107, Tav. X.

    Chamoux, François. 1968. "L''Heracles d'Anticythere'." Revue Archéologique, : p. 169, fig. 7.

    Cambitoglou, Alexander and Arthur Dale Trendall. 1969. "Addenda to Apulian Red-Figure Vase-Painters of the Plain Style." American Journal of Archaeology, 73. New York: Macmillan & Co, p. 425.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1970. "The Department of Greek and Roman Art: Triumphs and Tribulations." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 3: pp. 83, 86-7, fig. 28.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1970. Perspective in Greek and Roman Art. New York and London: Phaidon Press, p. 43, n. 5, fig. 179.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1972. "Greek Vase Painting: An Introduction." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 31(1): no. 27, pp. 62-3, 68.

    Schneider-Herrmann, Gisela. 1972. "Kultstatue im Tempel auf Italischen Vasenbildern." Bulletin Antieke Beschaving, 47: p.40.

    Moreno, Paolo. 1974. Lisippo, Vol. 1. Bari: Dedalo Libri, p. 7.

    Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, England, p. 485, pl. 152a.

    Trendall, Arthur Dale and Alexander Cambitoglou. 1978. The Red-Figured Vases of Apulia, Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press, no. 47, pp. 266-7, pl. 89.1.

    Reuterswärd, Patrik. 1980. Studien zur Polychromie der Plastik. Stockholm: Bokförlaget Svenska, p. 97, fig. 14, n. 215.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

    Mayo, Margaret Ellen and Kenneth Hamma. 1982. The Art of South Italy: Vases from Magna Graecia Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, no. 27, pp. 35, 96-99.

    Shefton, Brian. 1982. "The Krater from Basky." The Eye of Greece: Studied in the Art of Athens, Donna Kurtz and Brian Sparkes, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 175, n. 104.

    Moreno, Paolo. 1984. Civiltà del Mezzogiorno. L' Impronta Ellenica Cinisello Balsamo (Milan): Silvana Editoriale, p. 93.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1986. Atherion-Eros, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 3. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Dioskouroi, no. 253; Eros, no. 925.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Herakles, nos. 271, 1569.

    Schefold, Karl and Franz Jung. 1988. Die Urkönige, Perseus, Bellerophon, Herakles und Theseus in der klassischen und hellenistischen Kunst. Munich: Hirmer Verlag, p. 228.

    Todisco, Luigi. 1990. "Eracle, la statua, l'artefice sul cratere apulo di New York MMA 50.11.4." Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome, Antiquité, 102: pp. 901-957, fig.1, 2, 3, 5,6.

    Trendall, Arthur Dale and Alexander Cambitoglou. 1991. Second Supplement to the Red-figured Vases of Apulia. London: Institute Of Classical Studies, p. 61.

    Picón, Carlos A. 1992. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1991-1992." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 50(2): no. 176, p. 155.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, 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. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Nike, no. 269.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, 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. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Pan, no. 190.

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    Oenbrink, Werner. 1997. Das Bild im Bilde. Zur Darstellung von Götterstatuen und Kultbildern auf griechischen Vasen. Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, no. G3, pp. 147, 150-151, 179, 277, 332, 389-90, 399, pl. 44.

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    Marconi, Clemente. 2011. "The birth of an image: The painting of a statue of Herakles and theories of representation in ancient Greek culture." Res: Anthopology and Aesthetics, 59/60: pp. 145-47, 150-51, 153-54, figs. 1-2, 5-9.

    Garrison, Daniel H. 2014. A Cultural History of the Human Body in Antiquity. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, p. 230.

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