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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 103, Athenian Vases
Attic Red-Figure Volute Krater
Attributed to Kleophrades Painter (Greek (Attic), active 505 - 475 B.C.)
Athens, Greece (Place Created)
56.9 × 46.9 cm (22 3/8 × 18 7/16 in.)
Gift of Gordon McLendon
The krater (mixing vessel) has a plain black body and two friezes on the neck. Running around the upper frieze on both sides is an Amazonomachy. Around the lower frieze are three labors of Herakles on side A and Peleus wrestling with Thetis on side B.
Much of the Amazonomachy on side A is only partially preserved. Two small fragments show an Amazon carrying her dead comrade to the left. Further right, an Amazon comes to the aid of her comrade who has collapsed before a Greek warrior. He slashes with his sword, wielding a shield with a horse as the blazon, and is overlapped by Herakles. Identifiable by his lion skin, and with a sword in his right hand, he grasps the shoulder of an Amazon who has fallen at his feet. She, in turn, grips Herakles' upper arm in an attempt to ward off his attack. The fallen Amazon holds a bow and wears a quiver, and is defended by six Amazons from the right. There are two pairs of warriors, one with a frontal hoplite shield (blazon: Centaur throwing a rock), another with a Boeotian type shield, followed by two archers (one is helmeted, the other wears a soft cap).
On side B, the Amazons arm and run into battle. From left, an Amazon facing right tests an arrow, before her comrade who is armed with her shield (lion blazon) and spear, and holds her Corinthian helmet. Further right, an Amazon turns, holding her spear obliquely. Her shield and helmet rest on the ground. To the right are two more arming Amazons, one holding a shield (frontal view, triskeles (?) blazon), the other fitting a greave to her leg. The next group of Amazons consists of a trio walking to the right, each with a horse and two spears. The leftmost Amazon stands before her horse, the other two behind. The rightmost Amazon has a pelta (light curved shield) instead of a hoplite shield. The third group of Amazons proceed at a faster pace, two of them (one armed as a hoplite, the other with an axe) in full flight to the right, together with another Amazon trying to restrain her horse. At far right, a trumpeter.
On the lower frieze of side A: three of Herakles' labors. From left, Herakles (only his foot is preserved) and Iolaos attack the Hydra. Iolaos wields a flaming brand to cauterize the monster’s severed necks, and his hoplite shield bears an image of Pegasos. He stands before the wounded two-headed dog Orthos, who belongs to the next scene, Herakles fighting Geryon (of whom only three front legs, a spearhead and the edge of a shield survive). Between them is the fallen Eurytion, bleeding from a wound in his belly. Further to the right, a seated Athena (only her helmet, shield and part of her legs are preserved) looks back at this encounter. Before her, Herakles (with club, lionskin, and quiver) attempts to collect the apples of the Hesperides from the tree. The dragon Ladon is represented as a three-headed snake coiled around the trunk. To the far right, Atlas stands frontally with right hand on his hip.
On the lower frieze of side B: Peleus wrestle with Thetis (both figures are only partially preserved; part of a snake’s tail at lower left), watched over by the centaur Chiron at left. A pair of Nereids, each wearing a chiton and himation, flees both left and right. At far left, a standing female figure with her arm outstretched; at far right, Nereus, seated with a staff.
Fragments of the vase were once included in a heavily restored krater in the Musée du Louvre (G166), formerly in the Campana Collection. They are now on loan to the museum and incorporated into the vessel (four of these fragments belong to the neck friezes). Additional fragments that belong with this vase are 86.AE.587, 97.AE.58.2 and 98.AE.82.1-.12.
Painting on Vases in Ancient Greece (March 20 to April 22, 1979)
- Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), March 20 to April 22, 1979
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