Mixing bowl (column krater)

Greek, South Italian
Late Classical Period
about 355–345 B.C.
the Varrese Painter

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 036.


50.4 cm (19 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



Side A: Seated man holding branch, standing woman holding oinochoe and basket, seated man holding kantharos
Side B: Three standing men
Group of three draped figures holding a krater, amphora and basket of fruit. On other side three standing draped male figures; broken and mended.

ITALIAN VASE PAINTING in ITALY, no. 36 (92.2648)
Attributed to the Varrese Painter
about 355-345 B.C.
A: At left and right are seated youths, the one at the left holding a tall branch in his left hand, and the other with a yellow kantharos in his right hand. Both are seated on bundles of clothes and are nude except for a yellow fillet and a broad yellow belt, an item of native Italic dress. In the center stands a woman holding a basket of white and yellow loaves in her raised left hand and an oinochoe, half yellow and half white, in her lowered right hand. She wears a chiton, kekryphalos, radiate fillet, earrings, necklace with yellow pendants, and white bracelets on each arm. In the field are two yellow fillets, three rosettes, and a wreath bedecked with a yellow fillet.
B: A boy holding a staff in his right hand faces two youths. All three wear himatia. In the field above are a quadrated disk and two filling ornaments in the form of paired jumping weights.
In the panels on either side of the neck are ivy vines and berries. There are black palmettes oh the tops and sides of the handle-plates, a wave-pattern on the outer rim, and a laurel wreath on top of the mouth. The pictures have lateral frames of degenerate ivy and upper frames of tongues and dots. The groundlines consist of groups of stopt maeanders to right alternating with dotted cross-squares.
The Varrese Painter was a prolific and influential painter of midcentury, fond of bright colors and employing a stable of stock figures that reappear time and again on the over 200 vases attributed to him. He influenced a number o fyounger painters including the Wolfenbuttel and Metope Painters, the Painter of Louvre MNB 1148, and the Painter of Bari 12061.


Date unknown: Thomas G. Appleton Collection (according to the 1892 MFA Annual Report: purchased by the late Thomas G. Appleton, when in Italy); gift of Nathan Appleton to MFA, June 7, 1902

Credit Line

Gift of Nathan Appleton