Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Terracotta bell-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water)

Attributed to the Danaë Painter
Period:
Classical
Date:
ca. 460 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; red-figure
Dimensions:
H. 11 7/8 in. (30.2 cm) diameter of mouth 13 5/8 in. (34.6 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
23.160.80
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 159
Obverse, woman playing lyre and two women listening
Reverse, women

The scene here has an intimacy that is exceptional in Greek vase-painting. In an indoor setting, a seated woman plays the lyre. Before her stand two women, one of whom rests her chin and hands on the shoulder of the other. The listeners are enraptured by what they hear. All of the elements in the representation reflect daily life in mid-fifth century B.C. Athens. It is nonetheless tempting to see the subject in more specific terms. One scholar has suggested that the women might be muses. Another possibility is that the performer is the poetess Sappho, who appears on several black-figured and red-figured vases.
#1054: Terracotta bell-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water), Part 1
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#1456: Terracotta bell-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water), Part 2
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For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1925. "Three Red-Figured Greek Vases." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20(11): pp. 264–65, fig. 6.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1946. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey. pp. 92, 125, figs. 32i-j, 90, New Haven: Yale University Press.

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

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1958[1946]. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey, Revised Edition, 2nd edn. pp. 92, 125, figs. 32i-j, 90, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. pp. 1075, 1703, no. 10, Add. 2, p. 1075, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Beazley, John D. 1971. Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters and to Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters [2nd edition]. p. 449, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Seebass, Tilman. 1991. "The power of music in Greek vase painting: reflections on the visualisation of rhythmos order and epaoide (enchanting song)." Imago Musicae: International Yearbook of Musical Iconography, 8: p. 31, fig. 22.

Rabinowitz, Nancy Sorkin. 2011. "Sex for Sale? Interpreting Erotica in the Havana Collection." Greek Prostitutes in the Ancient Mediterranean, 800 BCE-200 CE, Allison Glazebrook and Madeleine M. Henry, eds. pp. 138, 145, n. 45, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

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