Red-figura volute Krater to contain the mix of wine with water decorated with people in temple, type “Naiskos”, 330-320 B.C.

Craters were ceramic containers intended to contain liquids such as water or wine. This type of crater, which we call volutes because of the way its handles are finished, is very characteristic. The importance of these pieces is even reflected in Homer's Odyssey, in his eighth book. The best known function of the craters is their use as a gift to the winners of the Athenian games, parallel to the prize that is awarded today. Although we must analyze its use from the first war uses in which it was used as a gift from the people defeated in battle, even used to pour liquids on the dismembered enemies. This crater is decorated by the Underworld Painter, one of the few ceramists who could be identified in Ancient Greece, so the value of the piece is increased significantly. The decorative typology of the piece is the red figure on a black background. On the first face we can see four offering figures, two women in tunics and two naked men with their tunics on their arms. The alternation between the seated figures of the first register and the erect figures of the second gives a play of unique movements. In the centre of the scene we find two characters inside a temple, one of them dressed in a tunic offers wine in a glass to the other character, the one that could be a winner of the Athenian games that is decorated with armor, helmet, sandals and their war accessories, the spear and the shield. Above them floats the onphalos, the first stone laid by Zeus in the centre of the universe according to Greek mythology. On the other side we find a scene similar to the previous one with four figures, in the same arrangement flanking a commemorative pillar on which garlands have been arranged. The beauty of the scenes unified with the majesty of the decoration that spins and magnifies them, makes this piece a unique work of the painter of the underworld, the best gift that could be assigned to an Athenian hero.


Related works of art

C/ Sebastian Souviron, 9 29005, Malaga, SPAIN
+34 606 909 804 / 650 670 221

Site Map