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Lot 0066D
Magna Graecia, Campanian, ca. 350 BCE. A wonderful red-figure bell krater - a vessel used for blending wine and water - of a characteristically bell-shaped body, upturned twin loop handles, and flared rim, all upon a concave round foot. The obverse is decorated with central female draped maenad holding a pine-cone tipped staff (thyrsus) in her left hand, standing with her body facing front, but her head in profile, hair raised in a simple bun, donning a lovely peplos, as well as painted white earrings, bracelets, and necklace. She is flanked by a pair of nude, male, bearded satyrs - one playing a double flute, the other holding an animal-headed rhyton. The groundline features a Greek key pattern with interspersed checkerboard panels, and a band of laurel leaves graces the underside of the rim. On the reverse, the artist depicted a male and a female facing one another, both dressed in togas and donning white-painted hair ornaments, the mail holding a walking stick. Size: 8.375" W handlespan x 8.5" H (21.3 cm x 21.6 cm)

Perhaps the most exciting innovation in Greek vase painting was the red-figure technique, invented in Athens around 525 BCE and beloved by artists of Magna Graecia including the painter of this bell krater. This technique allowed for much greater flexibility as opposed to the black-figure technique, for now the artist could use a soft, pliable brush rather than a rigid metal graver to delineate interior details, play with the thickness of the lines, as well as build up or dilute glazes to create chromatic effects. The painter would create figures by outlining them in the natural red of the vase, and then enrich these figural forms with black lines to suggest volume, perspectival depth, and movement, bringing those silhouettes and their environs to life. Beyond this, fugitive pigments made it possible for the artist to create additional layers of interest and detail.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Arte Primitivo (12/5/2013, lot 333); ex collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Feuer, New York, USA, acquired 1970s to 1980s

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Professionally repaired from a few large pieces with restoration over the breaklines, and areas of restoration to the foot. Calcified surface deposits on interior.

Starting Bid


Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Greek Campania Bell Krater - Beautifully Painted

Estimate $6,000 - $8,000May 10, 2018
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
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