Pottery: red-figured bell-krater. Designs red on black ground, with accessories of white and yellow. Round the lip and ends of the handles, egg-moulding; above the designs, laurel-wreath; below, maeander and chequer; below the handles, palmettes. (a) Thetis and Nereids conveying the armour of Achilles across the sea: On the left is a Nereid seated sideways to left on a dolphin to right, with radiated ampyx and a mass of curls on the forehead, earrings, necklace, bracelets, long chiton with vertical stripe and beaded girdle, fastened with fibulae on the shoulders, himation over lower limbs, holding up the cuirass in both hands; it is painted white with yellow markings. Behind her hovers Eros to left, nude, with long curls and a mass of hair over the forehead, and radiated fillet; he points with right hand to the Nereid, and both look back at Thetis who follows, seated to left on a Hippocamp. Her flesh is painted white, and her hair tied in a bunch; she wears a radiated fillet, bracelets, long girt embroidered chiton with wave-border and diploidion reaching to the hips. The Hippocamp has the forepart of a horse (painted white), united behind the shoulder with a speckled fish's tail with dorsal fin; behind the forelegs are fins. Thetis guides it with a bridle, and in left hand holds the shield of Achilles (white with device of a snake to left and border of wave-pattern, in yellow). She is followed by another Nereid looking to left, who wears an opisthosphendone, necklace, bracelets, chiton as the first, and bordered himation; she rides on a sea-monster, with head resembling a horse, whose lower jaw she caresses with right hand. It has a sharp snout, and two fins under the jaws, scaly neck with a fin instead of a mane, and two fins instead of forelegs; the body is speckled, and ends in a fish's tail. The sea is indicated by an irregular line of wave-pattern, above which are four prickly white fish swimming, and white strokes perhaps representing spray. Over the head of Thetis is a star; in a line with the heads of the other figures are flowers. (b) Dionysiac group: In the centre is Dionysos seated to left in a chair painted white, with curved back seen in perspective; he is bearded, with long curls, radiated fillet and wreath, himation over lower limbs, thyrsos in left hand from which hang a taenia and bunch of grapes; over his head is a star. In front of him Ariadne moves away looking back; she has long hair, radiated ampyx, earrings, necklace with two rows of pendants, bracelets, long striped chiton with embroidered and looped-up sleeves, beaded girdle, and diploldion reaching to the hips, fastened with fibulae on the shoulders, and himation drawn forward in each hand; her flesh is painted white. Facing her is Nike, with hair tied in a bunch, radiated fillet, earrings, necklace, bracelets, long white chiton and bordered himation, flesh painted white; she places right hand on Ariadne's shoulder. Behind Dionysos is a Maenad with opisthosphendone, earrings, necklace, bracelets, long girt chiton and diploidion reaching to the hips, with stripes down the front; she holds a white phiale with egg-moulding in left hand, and places right on Dionysos' shoulder. Behind her is a Satyr to right, dancing, waving left hand and holding a phiale in right; he has a wreath, and a panther's skin knotted round his neck. At the Satyr's feet is a white tympanon; at Nike's, a small tripod; in the field, several flowers.
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Using this image
To license images for charged-for journals and publications, and other commercial uses, please contact British Museum Images.
Contact BM images
The image will be released to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. You can read more about the British Museum and Creative Commons here.
Download this image
If you cannot see an image that you want on the British Museum website, you can order new photography from us.
Order new image