The Basics Location: Museo Archeologico, Florence Date: c.570 B.C.E. (archaic period) Painter: Kleitias Potter: Ergotimos Shape: volute krater Size: 66cm Technique: black figure Function: mixing bowl for wine and water.
Dimensions Diameter of mouth: 57cm Widestcircumference: 181cm Height: 66cm
Decoration Technique Shape and decoration revolutionary for time Painted decoration inspired by Corinthian miniaturist style in vogue during orientalising period Division into seven friezes or bands 270 human and animal figurines and 121 of them inscribed with names Boustrophe: the writing goes in either direction, Other features of orientalising period evident mythological animals such as griffins and sphinxes as well as exotic vegetable motifs like the lotus and palmette
Subject Troy – Iliad Majority of scenes celebrate deeds of Achilles and his father Peleus Wedding of Peleus and Thetis Hunting of Calydonian boar Pursuit of Troilus Funeral games of Patroclus and on the back of the handle Ajax is depicted carrying body of deceased Achilles Theseus dancing victory dance – the Geranos. Involved in battle of Lapiths and Centaurs Goddes Artemis depicted on the back of the handle as the ‘Pontia Theron’ or the Mistress of Animals Ajax carries Achilles
Conventions of Black Figure silhouettes filled in with slip added colour, including white for female flesh, some drapery, a couple of horses and the dog (now almost entirely worn away) on the back of the Kalydonian boar; purple on some drapery; red on some mens faces. incision for hair, internal details of anatomy and ornate patterns Artemis on some clothing.
Figures small-scale, silhouette figures. pose often has profile head (but with frontal eye); frontal torso and profile legs and feet incision of anatomical detail is delicate and precise, showing an accurate knowledge of major muscle groups. attempts to suggest texture with smooth human hair and the spiky bristles of the boar. attempts to show movement: one foot in front of the other; raised and outstretched legs suggest running; joined hands for dancers. emotion suggested by gestures such as raised hands. movement and gesture lively and active in most scenes; restrained and dignified in the wedding procession.
Side A: The Neck 1. The hunt for the Kalydonian Boar 2. Achilles’ chariot race
First Band – The hunt for the KalydonianBoar The Myth The leader of the hunt was Meleager Artemis sent the boar after Meleager’s father offended her by not including her in his yearly sacrifices to the Gods Many heroes joined Meleager; Castor, Polydeuces, Jason, Peleus, Theseus and his friend Peirithous the Lapith, and the Atalanta Meleager woman Atalanta and Peleus The Vase In the picture the hunters advance on the boar. Atalanta, her skin painted white holds a dart. Beside her is her future husband, Melanion. Beyond him is a dog preparing to leap
The hunt for the Kalydonian Boar The Myth Atalanta’s father had not wanted a female child and left her on a mountainside. Under the protection of Artemis she grew to be deadly hunter. The other hunters had objected to a female on the hunt but Meleager had fallen in love with her and insisted The Vase In the top picture the boar is wounded by three arrows and has killed Ankaios and a dog Hunters and another dog attack from behind, driving the boar on to the spears of Peleus and Meleager, who is shown without a beard to indicate his youth A white dog, now mostly worn off, has leapt on to the boars back - only the faint outline and the gaps in the boars bristles show where it was Four more pairs of hunters pursue the boar, assisted by two Scythian archers, one sporting an ornately decorated tunic.
Second Band – Achilles’ chariot race The chariot race is held by Achilles for his dead friend Patroclus who had died at the hands of the Trojan hero, Hector. Achilles had taken his revenge and cornering Hector slew him. All the charioteers race in the same direction. The prizes for the winner, a tripod (a bowl sitting on three legs) and a dinos (handleless bowl used for mixing water and wine), are used to fill in the void under the horses’ feet.
Under the handles of the vase, on both sides, is this scene of the dead Achilles being carried by Ajax. The myth tells of how, when Achilles was killed by Paris’ arrow, Ajax rescued his armour and carried his body back to camp, while Odysseus warded off attackers.Compositional stability: the horizontal and verticalstraight lines of Ajax contrasts with the diagonal linesformed by Achilles’ body. Also the eyes contrast.
Side A – The body of the Vase 3. The wedding of Thetis and Peleus 4. Achilles pusues Troilus 5. Oriental animal frieze
Third Band – The wedding of Thetis andPeleus The Myth Marriage of mortal Peleus and immortal sea- goddess Thetis. The most significant myth depicted. Thetis wooed by both Zeus and Poseidon until found out her son would be greater than his father. Married her to the hero Peleus. Son was Achilles. Incidents that occurred at the wedding led the Trojan War The Vase Peleus is standing in front of his home while Thetis sits in the open doorway, waiting to welcome their guests. Attended by all of the major gods with Zeus and Hera in the first chariot A comic Dionysus runs ahead of them, carrying a jar of wine.
Fourth Band – Achilles pursues Troilus The Myth This event called the Cypria, was the earliest in Trojan War. Prophesied that Troy would never be taken if Troilus, the son of Priam, reached his twentieth year. Achilles waited beside the fountain house. Troilus saw and fled on horseback to the safety of Apollo. Achilles killed him on the altar of Apollo, something that god never forgave him for The Vase Apollo, stands to the left of the fountain-house, his stance and gesture suggesting danger and urgency A youth places his hydria beneath one of the water YouthApollo spouts. On the other side a girl waits for her hydria to fill, but she has caught sight of the impending tragedy behind her and throws up her arms in horror
Achilles pursuit of Troilus Between the girl and the action stand three gods: Thetis, mother of Achilles, Hermes, and Athene, The central image shows Achilles in pursuit of Achilles Troilus Achilles To the right, Antenor brings the bad news to King Priam, shown sittingPolyxena outside the walls of Troy with only a staff to support him in his old age and sorrow. Two warriors, Troiloss brothers Hektor and Polites, emerge from the gates on their way to rescue their brother or Antenor Priam Hektor and avenge his death. Polites
Fifth Band Orientalising – inspired animal frieze A lion fells a bull A lion fells a stag A pair of griffins sitting either side of a Lotus and palmette motif
Side B – The Neck 1. Dance of the Athenian Youths 2. The Centauromarchy
The First Frieze: The GeranosThe Myth:Whilst travelling, Aegeus, King of Athens, spent a night at Troezen, in the house of the king. That night he slept with Princess Aithra, and in the morning, as he left, he hid his sandals and sword under a heavy rock.
Aegeus told Aithra that if she bore a son he would only acknowledge him when he could lift the rock and claim the sword and sandals.When Theseus was sixteen, he did just that, before setting off for Athens to meet his father.He was desperate to make a good impression, so along the way he completed some dangerous and impressive tasks.
Theseus arrived in Athens wearing the sword and sandals. Medea, Aegeuss wife, attempted to poison Theseus, but as soon as Aegeus recognized the heirlooms, he proclaimed Theseus his son and heir and banished Medea.Theseus killed a few relatives who wearing making life hard for his father, and killed a wild bull on the plain of Marathon.He then began his most famous deed.
Athens had to pay a tribute each year of seven young women and seven young men to King Minos of Crete, as payment for the death of Minos’ son Androgeos.These sacrifices were fed to a monster called the Minotaur. Theseus volunteered to be one of the fourteen, and, having arranged a signal to show his success with his father, set off for Crete.He was helped by Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, who gave him a dagger and a ball of wool.
Theseus killed the Minotaur and found his way out of the maze, whereupon he met Ariadne and the other 13 Athenians, and together they fled back to Athens.Theseus forgot the signal he had arranged with his father, however, and sailed back to Athens under black sails.Aegeus was watching for the ship by the coast, and when he saw the ship approaching, in his grief he threw himself into the sea. The sea has been called Aegean Sea ever since, and Theseus became King of Athens.
First Band – The Geranos The Myth The Geranos, or victory dance occurred after Theseus had rescued the fourteen Athenian youths and maidens from the minotaur. The Vase In the victory dance on and the vase, the youths and maidens can be seen holding hands and miming their hurried exit from the labyrinth, to the sound of Theseus’ lyre The women wear the peplos, the men the himation (cloak)
The Second Frieze – The CentauromachyThe MythThe Centaurs were half-human, half-horse creatures, who ate raw meat and lived a wild, unbridled life in the caves of Mount Pelion.A dispute arose between them and King Peirithous who ruled the Kingdom of the Lapiths. The Centaurs were invited to the wedding of King Peirithous, but the Centaurs disgraced themselves by getting drunk and trying to make off the with bride and the women at the wedding.The King Peirithous, Theseus and the Lapiths pursued them, and in the ensuing battle, many Centaurs were killed. The Centaurs were then banished to live in the forests of Thessaly.
Hylaios Kaineus a leader of the Lapiths, has Next to them another centaur fallen to the ground under a hail of and a Lapith duel, branch blows from the centaur Hylaios, who against javelin belabours him with a branch while two other centaurs bring large rocks to deal A centaur rears above a the fatal blow. fallen comrade to hurl a rock at (possibly) Kaineus died but the Lapiths won the battle Theseus.
Fourth Band – The Return of Hephaistos The Myth Hephaistos had been hurled out of heaven by his mother Hera for intefering in an argument between her and Zeus. He then designed a throne that kept Hera bound and then went into hiding. Zeus offered the hand of Aphrodite in order to get Hephaistos to release her. Dionysus then led the lame God back to Olympus Hephaistos Accompanied The VaseDionysus drunk by satyrs orleads Depicts the return of Hephaistos to nymphs Olympus. Dionysus leads his mule and they are accompanied by nymphs and satyrs. The latter most commonly depicted in a state of sexual arousal
The Foot Frieze – The Battle betweenPygmies and Cranes See p. 23 in White text Or p. 8 in Black text
Connections: Achilles Peleus on Lip Side A Patroclus on Neck Side A Marriage of Thetis and Peleus on Shoulder Troilus on Belly Side A Ajax on handles
Artemis Kalydonian Boar on Lip Side A Thetis and Peleus’ Marriage on Shoulder Surrounded by animals on handles Theseus Kalydonian Boar on Lip Side A Leader of the dance on Lip Side B Friend of Peirithous on Neck Side B
Overall Themes: Greek victory over Trojans (in particular), barbarians and animals Gods’ preference for the Greeks