Italic, Etruscan
Late Classical Period
3rd quarter of 4th century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 170.


45.9 cm (18 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


The Ancient World



Side A: Nude youth to right, foot propped on stone; draped woman en face, head to right; winged female figure to left, foot on rock.
Side B: Draped youth to right and two women to left in conversation.
Over each handle a female head looking out of a window.
Base restored in plaster.

In the neighborhood of the Funnel Group (Beazley); related to the Alcsti Group (Herrmann)
3rd quarter of 4th century B.C.
A: At the left, a nude youth, wearing shoes and a white stephane and bandoleer. stands facing right with his left foot resting on a rock. He gestures toward the central figure or figures, who are almost entirely missing. At the far right are the remains of a draped female(?) figure who also has a foot propped up, presumably on a rock. The reserved area behind the hair and the wing-tips (?) appearing close to the handle suggest that the figure was winged. Thus it is probably Nike or an Etruscan death-daemon like Vanth. If it is Vanth, then the satyr-like youth at the left is probably a death-daemon as well. White oplants rise from the groundline and hang from the upper border
B: A youth wearing a himation and holding a staff stands to the right in conversation with a woman wearing a cloak and a tunic or chiton bordered with black strokes. Another draped woman stands at the far right. The women wear white wreaths, and the youth wears a white stephane and a long, white necklace. White plants grow from the goundline and hang from the upper frame. Above each handle is a female head with white radiate stephane facing right in a window.
A wreath of black laurel circles the vase below the rim. On either side of the cul, in the handle-zones, are broad bands of enclosed upright palmettes, with narrower palmettes in between. Bands of egg-pattern circle the handle -roots. The groundlines on both sides consist of egg-and-dart pattern. Between the roots of each handle is a black palmette.
Beazley noted that the heads in the windows over the handles recall those on some South Italian vases (i.e. cat. no. 52). The vegetation springing up and hanging down into the field may also reflect South Italian influence (cf. the krater by the Hoppin Painter, cat. no. 15). The relatively elaborate and classical treatment of the ornament provides a link with calyx-kraters of the first half of the fourth century, like those by the Nazzano Painter of Falerii (cat. no. 166); by the Painter of London F. 484, a craftsman of Vulci, in the Vialla Giulia (inv. 55638: Martelli, Ceramica, pl. 165, 1); and by the workshop of the Alcestis Painter in Malibu (inv. L74. AE48: Martelli, Ceramica, pl. 169). Both of the last have been ascribed to Vulci. At the same time the black laurel wreath links this krater, as Beazley pointed out, to the Funnel Groups, which are generally considered to come from Vulci. Jolivet’s confidence that it can “sans doute” be joined to the Berlin Funnel Group, however, seems excessive. In both shape and style it differs from the standardized Funnel Group production.
The Boston krater seems more at home in another workshop of Vulci: that of the Alcestis Painter. Solidly classical kraters with this relatively rich decoration at the base of the handles and body and in the cull appear frequently in this tradition. The large spreading palmettes with small triple palmettes or lotus buds between them appear (executed in black-figure) on the krater in Malibu (Martelli, Ceramica, pl. 169) and in red-figure on a krater in Trieste from Tuscania (G.Q. Giglioli, “L’arte etrusca” Milan, 1935], pl. 277, 1). On a modest krater of the Alcestis workshop in the Vatican, the large palmettes are executed in red-figure and the small lotus in black, just as on the Boston piece (Trendall, “Vast antichi”, II, pp. 238-239, pl.d 62, a,b,Z 110). Kinky hair, outlined by a reserved area, is common in this group, and in this respect the Boston krater is particularly close to that in the Vactican. The landscape props, such as a little hill with a cave below it, turn up on most of these vases, as do the heavy draperies with black borders trimmed with dots. The effect is also rather Paestan, an influence that has been noted in the midcentury work of Vulci (M. Cristofani in Martelloi, “Ceramica”, pp. 46-47). Beazley compared the Boston krater to a stamnos in the Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore (48.63), that was found just south of Cerveteri. It too could be a product of the Alcestis workshop.


E. M. Raymond Collection; April 9, 1908, gift of E. M. Raymond to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of E. M. Raymond