Krater (mixing bowl)
Greek (Attic), c500 – 475BC
Earthenware with red-figure decoration, 33.4 x 35.8 x dia. 31cm
Accession Number LL5035
A krater was used for mixing wine and water (wine was always drunk diluted). This vase is painted in the red-figure technique that came after black-figure decoration in the late 6th century BC. The black pigment was now applied to form the background and the figures left in reserve on the red body. The details could then be painted in with a brush. This allowed for much freer drawing than is possible by the incised black-figure technique.
This piece shows the influence of Myson, the leading painter of vases of this ‘column-krater’ shape, who signed (as both potter and painter) a smaller example found on the Acropolis at Athens.
The scene depicts three muscular dancing figures, all in ambitious ‘contrapposto’ poses (their shoulders twisted away from their hips). They are seen from behind with parts of their faces hidden. They are probably votaries of Dionysus who appears with a satyr on the other side of the vase.