Mixing bowl (calyx krater) depicting dueling scenes from the Trojan war

Greek
Late Archaic Period
about 490–480 B.C.
the Tyszkiewicz Painter


Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 070.

Dimensions

Height: 45.2 cm (17 13/16 in.); diameter: 51/3 cm (20 3/16 in.)

Accession Number

97.368

Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

On View

Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Vessels

Side A: On both sides of this krater are duels from the Trojan War. Memnon, king of Ethiopia, was an ally of the Trjojans. His death at the hands of Achilles was described in the Aethiopis, a lost epic poem. Achilles and Memnon wear corselets covered with plates of scale-armor. Achilles carries a “Theban” shield, with deep, semi-circular notches; the device on the front is not visible but Memnon’s shield has the head of a gorgon. Encouraged by Athena who holds out her snake-rimmed Aegis, Achilles has stabbed Memnon, who falls into the arms of his mother Eos, goddess of the Dawn. She carried his body to Ethiopia, where, at her urging, Zeus granted him immortality.
Figures labeled: Side A: ATHENAIA, AXILEUS, MELANIPPOS, MEIMNON, EIOS. On shield: “Lacheas is handsome” (LAXEAS KALOS)

Side B: The fight on this side is an episode also descibed in Book V of Homer’s Iliad: the wounding of the Trojan prince Aeneas by Diomedes. As in the other scene, Athena favors the Greek hero, who has wounded Aeneas with a spear. Aphrodite rushes up to save her wounded son, an act that so infuriated Diomedes that he wounded the goddess herself, as well as her lover Ares, the god of war. The Tyszkiewicz Painter is named after this vase, which once belonged to a collector of that name.
Figures labeled: Side B: ATHENAIA, DIOMEDES, AINEAS, APHRODITE (in retrograde)

Condition: Slight chip in the rim.

Inscription

Figures labeled: Side A: ATHENAIA, AXILEUS, MELANIPPOS, MEIMNON, EIOS, On shield: "Lacheas is handsome" (LAXEAS KALOS)
Side B: ATHENAIA, DIOMEDES, AINEAS, APHRODITE (in retrograde)

Provenance

Said to be from Vulci and to have been found at Canino in 1889 (according to L. D. Caskey and J. D. Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, no. 70); by 1891: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (said to have been purchased in Trieste); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; 1897: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 25,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 97.285-97.442 and 97.1104)

Credit Line

Catharine Page Perkins Fund