Fragment of a Gnathian Bell Krater

Object Details

Title:

Fragment of a Gnathian Bell Krater

Artist/Maker(s):

Konnakis Painter (Greek (Gnathia), active about 375 - 350 B.C.)

Culture:

South Italian (Gnathian)

Place(s):

Gnathia, South Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 350 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Dimensions:

10.7 x 11 cm (4 3/16 x 4 5/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Suzanne A. Rosenborg

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The woman depicted on this small fragment of a vase probably represents one of the Muses, the goddesses of learning and the arts. She holds a lyre, a harp-like stringed instrument, and her posture suggests that she is seated. Richly dressed, this muse wears a mantle decorated with groups of three white dots over her dress, and her cloth headband is equally lavish. She also wears several pieces of jewelry: a diadem, earrings, a necklace, and bracelet. The care the artist took with the rich details of this scene was typical of vases created in the 300s in the Greek colonies in South Italy.

The fragment comes from a large calyx-krater decorated in a technique that scholars call Gnathian. The painter covered the entire surface of the vase with a black glaze and then added his decoration over the glaze. The bright, wide-ranging color palette seen on this fragment is typical of Gnathian pottery. Unusual, however, is the use of shading, as in the golden color on the upper side of the forearm, to suggest roundness.

Exhibitions
Greeks in the Boot: Greek Influence in Ancient Italy as Reflected in the Pottery of Various Regions (October 5, 2013 to May 17, 2014)
  • Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, California State University, San Bernardino, October 5, 2013 to May 17, 2014, (Cat.)
Bibliography

Bulle, Heinrich. "Von griechischen Schauspielern und Vasenmalern," Festchrift fuer James Loeb. Munich: 1930. pp. 5-43. p. 22; pl. 2 (at the time, in the Zinser collection, Stuttgart).

Forti, Lidia. La Ceramica di Gnathia. Naples: 1965. p. 96; pl. 13b.

Webster, T. B. L. "Towards a Classification of Apulian Gnathia," Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 15 (1968), pp. 1-33. p. 5, Konnakis Group (Ka), no. 1; at the time, in the Zinser coll.

Green, J. Richard. "Some Gnathia Pottery in the J. Paul Getty Museum," Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum 3. Occasional Papers on Antiquities 2 (1986), pp. 115-138. pp. 136-37; fig. 30.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 52.

Queyrel, Anne. "Mousa, Mousai," Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae VI (1992), pp. 657-681. p. 659 (cited in introductory discussion).

D'Amicis, Amelia. "Ceramica apula a figure rosse e sovraddipinta; rapporto di produzione e cronologia." In La Céramique Apulienne. Bilan et Perspectives. Martine Denoyelle et al., eds. (Naples: Centre Jean Bérard, 2005). fig. 10.

Kirsch, Eva. Greeks in the Boot: Greek Influences in the Italian Peninsula As Reflected in the Pottery of Various Regions, ca. 800-200 B.C. San Bernardino: California State University San Bernardino, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art. 2014. Part 2 Catalog, entry 5, (illustrated)