Vessel, Bell Krater, attributed to the Dolon Painter

Production date
0390 BCE-0370 BCE
Country
Italy
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Object detail

Description
Red Figure Bell Krater, attribued to the Dolon Painter. The principal scene shows Eros (god of love) releasing a small bird, which flies toward Aphrodite (goddess of love). She holds a wreath, and a philae (libation bowl). Behind Eros a male holds another wreath, and gripping a tall staff. The woman wears a peplos (shawl) with a stripe down one side, a shawl draped over her right shoulder, falling diagonally over her back, and over her left forearm. Her hair is dressed with a fillet (headband), her neck graced with a string of large beads. The reverse shows three clothed figures, a common ‘stock’ scene.
Classification
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Greek urn
Production date
0390 BCE-0370 BCE
Production place
Measurements
L350mm x W340mm x D337mm
Media/Materials description
Pottery, painted
History and use
Impressive bell kraters (large mixing vessels) like this were used after meals, when drinking accompanied music dancing and conversation. The Ancient Romans and Greeks felt that their slightly stronger wine (16% alcohol) enabled people to feel uplifted and closer to the gods, but drinking it neat was regarded as dangerous. This wide-mouthed vessel was used as a mixing bowl, where wine was diluted with water (5 parts water to 2 parts wine). An oinochoe (jug), would be dipped into the krater so that it could be poured into a delicate kylix (cup) or humbler skyphos (mug).

The principal scene shows Eros (god of love) releasing a small bird, which flies toward Aphrodite (goddess of love). She holds a wreath, and a philae (libation bowl). Behind Eros a male holds another wreath, and gripping a tall staff. The woman wears a peplos (shawl) with a stripe down one side, a shawl draped over her right shoulder, falling diagonally over her back, and over her left forearm. Her hair is dressed with a fillet (headband), her neck graced with a string of large beads. The reverse shows three clothed figures, a common ‘stock’ scene.

This scene was produced by the Dolon Painter, at the peak of his career. He was an important artist, in the second generation of the Early Lucanian workshop, located at Metaponto, Italy. He worked closely with other painters during his career, including the Tarporley Workshop. He often painted mythological scenes, and in artistic maturity he specialised in bell kraters, with simple well executed compositions.
Associated person
Registration number
H15474

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