Bell Krater (Mixing Bowl)

A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.

Date:

about 450 BC

Artist:

Greek; Athens
Manner of the Niobid Painter

About this artwork

This type of krater, or bowl for mixing wine and water, takes its name from the resemblance of its shape to an inverted bell. In the center stands a warrior, whose long spear breaks the picture plane into two parts. Since he hands his helmet, decorated with a leaping dolphin, to a woman wearing a diadem, or crown, who stands before him, he may be returning from battle. Behind him, another woman extends her hand as if to take his shield, which bears the image of a lion, its tongue extended.

This scene is believed to depict Achilles, the great Greek warrior of the Trojan War, at home with his mother, Thetis, her father, and Nereus, and a Nereid, or sea nymph. His helmet pushed back, Achilles is seated before a column, holding a spear in one hand and a libation, or offering, bowl in the other. Before him, Thetis holds an oinochoe, or pitcher, from which she has filled or is about to fill his bowl, while also supporting her son’s shield. Nereus looks on from the right, and a Nereid, a long fillet in her hand, stands behind him. His greaves, or shin protectors, are stored on a shelf in the background.

On View

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151

Artist

Ancient Greek

Title

Bell Krater (Mixing Bowl)

Origin

Athens

Date

450 AD

Medium

terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique

Dimensions

H. 38.4 cm (15 1/8 in.); diam. 41.2 cm (16 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.2197

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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