Attic Red-Figure Volute Krater

Object Details


Attic Red-Figure Volute Krater


Kleophrades Painter (Greek (Attic), active 505 - 475 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place created)


about 490 B.C.




56.9 × 46.9 cm (22 3/8 × 18 7/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Gordon McLendon

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Scenes from several Greek myths run around the neck of this enormous red-figure volute-krater, which was broken and reassembled from many fragments. On the front of the vase, the top row of decoration depicts a mythological battle against the Amazons. Much of this scene is missing, but Herakles, identifiable by his lionskin, grasps the hair of a fallen Amazon and prepares to deliver the fatal blow with his sword. The lower row shows excerpts of three Labors of Herakles: the Lernean Hydra, Geryon, and the Apples of the Hesperides. The better preserved back of the vase shows the Amazons preparing for battle and a scene with Peleus and Thetis, the parents of Achilles.

The complexity of the decoration and the scale of this vase are unusual. In fact, this is the only surviving volute-krater with two rows of decoration on the neck. At this time, Athenian potters worked in close proximity and painters were very aware of each other's work. A showpiece like this vase may have been a response to the Kleophrades Painter's main competitor at this time, the Berlin Painter, who had been producing large volute-kraters with one frieze on the neck.

Related Works
by 1971

Nicolas Koutoulakis (Geneva, Switzerland)

- 1977

Gordon McLendon (Dallas, Texas), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977.

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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