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Knob-Handled Patera (Dish)

A work made of terracotta, red-figure.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, red-figure.


330-320 BCE


Attributed to the Baltimore Painter
Greek; Apulia, Italy

About this artwork

The circular dish with knobs alongside its handles is a characteristically Apulian vessel. A patera was typically used to pour libations, but this example is unusually large. Bands of varying width containing repetitive patterns and scrolling tendrils interrupted by female heads surround a central scene depicting Hermes, the god of travelers, leading the harvest goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone from the underworld, where the girl had been held captive by Hades. Persephone was forced to return for part of every year, and during that time Demeter’s displeasure would cause the fertile earth to turn barren. Her story symbolized the life, death, and rebirth of both crops and people.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Knob-Handled Patera (Dish)


Apulia (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

330 BCE–320 BCE


terracotta, red-figure


17.7 × 67.3 × 68.5 cm (7 × 26 1/2 × 27 in.)

Credit Line

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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