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Creator Name: Euphronios
Creator Role: Signed by
Creator Name-CRT: Signed by Euphronios
Creator Name: Euxitheos
Creator Name-CRT: Signed by Euxitheos
Title: Calyx-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water)
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: -51
Creation End Date: -51
Creation Date: ca. 515 B.C.
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Vases
Materials and Techniques: terracotta
Dimensions: H. 18 in. (45.69 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1972.11.10
Credit Line: Purchase, Bequest of Joseph H. Durkee, Gift of Darius Odgen Mills and Gift of C. Ruxton Love, by exchange, 1972
The practice in antiquity of depicting scenes of profound seriousness on utilitarian objects is quite foreign to us today. In the absence of universal literacy and rapid communication, images played a major role in conveying and perpetuating important stories, traditions, and other kinds of information that assumed narrative form. The 'Iliad' and the 'Odyssey' of Homer were central to ancient Greek culture in many respects. While these poems told of the heroes and exploits of a glorious past, major elements, such as the gods and geographical locations, remained unchanged, thus imparting an ongoing reality to mythical events.
The scene on the obverse of this krater shows Hermes directing Sleep and Death as they bear Sarpedon, a son of Zeus allied with the Trojans, to his native Lycia for burial. It is notable that a story concerning an enemy of the Greeks was featured on such a large, fine vase produced by one of the leading Athenian artists.
The subject on the reverse is an arming scene. The youths and their equipment are, in every respect, Athenian of the late sixth century B.C. The names by which they are identified, however, are of figures from the past.
The references and the possible interpretations of the decoration on the krater are complex and manifold; however, the one message that seems evident is the continuing effect of past glory on the present. The Athenian youths arming themselves and named for illustrious forebears have the potential to gain the renown of Sarpedon.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1972.11.10
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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