Magna Graecia, South Italy, Campanian, Cumae B, Nicholson Painter's workshop, ca. 325 to 320 BCE. A monumental calyx krater of a graceful form w/ finely executed red-figure compositions; Side A: two draped females surround and try to impress a seated elite male, holding a sceptor and donning a wreath; Side B: a pair of females, in Lady of Fashion style, flank an offering pedestal, one presents a wreath, the other a precious substance in a vessel. Size: 17.375" in diameter x 21.375" H (44.1 cm x 54.3 cm)
Adding to the iconographical program are several characteristic decorative motifs including bands of wave and Greek key patterns, and beneath the rim, a graceful band of laurel leaves. Characteristic of Campanian wares, the terracotta is of a comparatively pale shade, and added/fugitive white and yellow pigments are used liberally to highlight jewelry, clothing, feet, handheld objects such as wreaths, and ribbons/details on the pedestal.
Unlike in Athens, almost none of the potters and vase painters in Magna Graecia signed their work, thus the majority of names are modern designations. The Cumae designation emerged around the middle of the 4th century. Its founder is regarded as the CA Painter and there are three main stages, Cumae A, Cumae B, and Cumae C. The general understanding is that from 330 onwards, a strong Apulian influence grew more visible. This vase appears to fall into the Cumae B group, its iconographical programs and style most similar to the workshop of the Nicholson Painter. The work of this second generation of Cumaean vase painters continues the traditions established by the CA painter, but is profoundly impacted by the Apulianizing Group - the figures are delineated on an ampler scale and are not disposed at varying levels on the surfaces of the vase.
Provenance: Ex- Collection of James Farmer, Maryland
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