Krater (mixing bowl)

Greek, South Italian
Early Hellenistic Period
About 300 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 130.


45.5 cm (17 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Gnathian Ware

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



Applied decoration technique. Above middle a band decorated with flower design; below this reeding.
Between handles:
Side A: An Eros driving dogs, preceded by an Eros with torch, and followed by one with flutes. Erotes and dogs white.
Side B: Two draped females, one draped and one nude male and an Eros.

End of 4th century B.C.
Shape: The two mold-made handles are in the shape of lions’ heads. As on the later skyphos, cat. no. 133, there are two zones of ribbing on the body, that the lower body being less carefully executed, without the rounded tips of the upper tier. The foot is in two degrees, with a tall stem and a flange above the spreading base. The mouth consists of a broad echinus with a flaring, overhanging rim, grooved at the top.
Yellow and white dotted egg-pattern circles the over-hanging rim, forming a cymation. Between the two zones of ribbing is a smooth, unribbed band of alternating yellow rosettes and palmettes. White stripes frame the upper band of ribbing and the smooth central band. Figure decoration is confined to the handle-zones, below the rim.
A: A pudgy young Eros dressed as a charioteer is driving a yellow biga with red spots drawn by white hounds. The hounds have spotted red girths and incised reins looped as martingales. The wreathed driver wears a yellow gown and a red long-sleeved tunic with yellow dots. At the left, preceding the biga, another nude, white-skinned Eros runs along with a torch in his right hand and one of the reins in his left; he wears a wreath, necklace, bracelets, anklets, and yellow shoes. His wings are red, white, and yellow. Two white birds fly above the biga, which is followed by a third Eros with shoes and jewelry like the one in front; he prances along in a kind of goose step while playing the double flutes. From the groundline by the handles, flanking the scene, grow stout yellow vines, heavy with grapes.
B: Two boys and two girls are playing together. The boy at right, wearing a red tunic, white hat, and yellow boots, holds a stick above a little white dog. A girl stands behind him, and behind her is a nude boy with a red cloak, who has fallen to one knee. A second girl tries to help him up, or is it she who has knocked him down? The boys have yellow skin, the girls white skin and yellow and white chitons. At the upper left, a small white Eros carrying a sword flies off to the left. Yellow, scrolling tendrils flank the scene.
For the general decorative scheme, compare London F 545 (CVA 1, pl. 1,7). For Eros driving a chariot (drawn by leopards, not hounds), compare the kantharos Naples 81007 (CVA 3, pls. 54-55). For the fluting Eros, compare the boy on a ribbed oinochoe in Cleveland: inv. 52.16 (K. Hamma, in Mayo, Magna Graecia, pp. 274-275, no. 135). Compare also the polychrome child dressed as a hunter on a fragment from a similar krater in Garanto CVA 3, pl. 22.3). The handles in the form of lions’ heads are common; see Bernardini, Vasi, pls. 57-58.


By 1901: with E. P. Warren; purchased by MFA from E. P. Warren, December 1901

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund