- Museum number
Pottery: red-figured bowl for mixing wine (calyx-krater).
Designs red and white on black ground, with yellow accessories; on the white ground the details are marked in black. Above the designs, laurel-wreath; below each, a band of palmette-pattern bordered by egg-moulding.
(a) The infant Heracles strangling the snakes: In the centre on the ground is Heracles kneeling on one knee to left, looking to right, strangling with left hand a snake which is twisted round his legs. On the right is Iphitos to right, looking to left, falling back with hands raised in terror at a snake behind him rearing to left. Both are nude, with short curls and cross-belts, and Heracles has armlets; their flesh is painted white; the snakes have forked tails. On the right is Athene to left, with white crested helmet, long curls, scaly aegis with Gorgoneion in white, long chiton embroidered with palmettes, wave and other patterns, and bordered himation, spear in left hand, shield by her side, with Gorgoneion and borders of wave-pattern and dots; in right hand she holds out a dove by the wings (see Class. Rev. l.c.; probably an offering for purification after childbirth); behind her is a cista with chequer and other patterns. Before her, on a higher level, is an aged female figure, probably a nurse, stooping down to left to rescue Iphitos; she has white hair, bracelets, long girt embroidered chiton with spiral and other patterns, and shoes. Behind, above Athene, is Dionysos seated to right, looking to left; he is bearded, with long curls, and wears wreath, embroidered himation with egg-moulding and palmette borders over his lower limbs, and endromides with tops turned over. In his right hand are a sceptre ending in a fleur-de-lys and a vine-branch with clusters of grapes; in left he holds out a cantharos; on the right hang an embroidered taenia and a bunch of grapes. In front of the nurse is Apollo Ismenios (indicating the locality) seated to left, looking back, with long curls, laurel-wreath, endromides, bordered himation under him; in right hand a large laurel-branch; with left he supports his head. Above him is an Eros flying to left, with long curls, band over right shoulder, and armlets, carrying a dish of fruit; his flesh is painted white. On the left is Hermes on the ground, seated to left, looking back, beardless, with long curls, petasos, chlamys with wave-border under him, endromides, and caduceus in right hand. Before him stands Artemis, with hair in a top-knot, white fillet wound three times round the head, and curls in front of her ears, flesh painted white; she wears long embroidered chiton with borders of spiral, engrailed, and palmette patterns and broad girdle, over which is a fawn-skin tied on right shoulder; she holds out a bow in left hand and an arrow in right. Above is Zeus seated to right, looking back at Artemis, bearded, with long curls; he wears wreaths round his head and over left shoulder, embroidered himation with border of egg-moulding over lower limbs, and endromides; thunderbolt in left hand, in right a sceptre ending in a fleur-de-lys. By his side is Alcmena (flesh painted white), pointing to the scene below with right hand, and placing left round Zeus' neck; she has long hair with curls in front of ears, necklace, bracelets, long sleeved chiton, and embroidered himation with border of spirals. Behind them is an Eros with long curls, fillet, and sandals, kneeling on left knee, holding up a taenia in both hands; in the field below him, a ball and a phiale.
(b) Dionysiac scene: In the centre is a Maenad seated to right, looking to left, with hair in a top-knot, tied by a taenia at the back, with curls in front, earrings, necklace, bracelets, and long chiton with wave-border and girdle; she holds up in left hand a white tympanon with rings and crosses round the edge, and by her side is another. On either side a Satyr advances towards her; the one on the right has a wreath, and his hands are extended to embrace her. The other is dancing, and has a wreath, panther's skin knotted round neck, thyrsos in right hand and rhyton in left; below him is a diota, ornamented with tongue and wave-patterns, fallen on its side. On the extreme left is Ariadne (?), seated on a higher level to right, looking back at Dionysos on the obverse; she has hair as the Maenad, necklace, bracelets, embroidered chiton reaching to knees, with borders of wave and other patterns, and endromides with tops turned over, and her flesh is painted white; she holds a large white fan in left hand and thyrsos in right; below her, a phiale, and in the centre of the scene a ball marked with a cross. On the right is a Maenad seated to left, looking back, holding a thyrsos in right hand; her flesh is painted white, and she is attired as Ariadne (long chiton, no endromides); behind her, a cista, ornamented with various patterns.
- Production date
- 400BC (circa)
Diameter: 53.95 centimetres
Height: 49.85 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- BM Cat. Vases
Class. Rev. ii. (1888), p. 327; Murray, Handbook of Gk. Archeology, p. 376.
The scene on a is apparently a copy of a painting by Zeuxis mentioned by Pliny, Η. Ν. xxxv. 63; cf. Philostratus, Imagg. 5, ed. Welcker, p. 607; Roscher, i., pp. 2222, 2242; Arch. Zeit. 1868, p. 33; Pitture d' Ercolano, i. pl. 7; Mon. dell’ Inst. xi. pl. 42, 2. A vase of similar style is published in Mon. dell’ Inst. x. 51, and Ann. 1878, p. 80 ff.
- On display (G71/dc3)
- Slightly injured.
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number