Mixing bowl (column-krater)

Greek, South Italian
Classical Period
about 400–390 B.C.
Painter Sisyphus Group; associated with the Ariadne Painter

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 009.


Height: 53 cm (20 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



A: Boar Hunt. The central hunter raises his sword in his right hand to slash the hindquarters of the boar, which charges to the left. His hunting companions stand on either side with spears, and there is a dead dog lying below. The hunter at the left braces his spear under his arm to take the charge of the boar. A tree and striped rocks denote the countryside. The hunter at the left wears a Greek chlamys, pinned at the throat, but the other two are in native Italian garb: the middle one with an embroidered loincloth secured by a broad belt, the one on the right in a striped tunic with two swastikas, also held by a belt. Both have cloaks on their left arm. Although the dead dog recalls the dog Ormenos in the depiction of the Calydonian Boar hunt on the François Krater (J. D. Beazley, Attic Black-figure Vase-painters [Oxford, 1956], p. 76, no. 1), there is nothing else to suggest that this is the legendary hunt, and indeed the native costume of the two hunters makes it unlikely.

B: Two pairs of youths in long himatia stand in conversation. The leftmost youth holds a staff in his right hand; the second has a strigil in his raised right hand. Between the two at the right, whose arms are covered, hangs a pair of jumping weights; these act as a space-filler but also combine with the strigil to place the setting in the palaestra. The three youths at the right wear shoes.

Two pairs of confronted boars and lions are drawn in black silhouette on the edge of the obverse rim; on the reverse edge is a degenerate ivy vine. Panels with ivy vines and berries decorate both necks, and a similar vine circles the top of the mouth. There are black palmettes on top of the handle-plates. The pictures have lateral frames of degenerate ivy and upper frames of tongues. The lower frames consist of triple linked maeanders to left alternating with saltire-squares.

Trendall and Cambitoglou note nearly identical black animals on the rim of a column-krater in Milan (“H.A.” collection 345: RVAp, I, p. 26, no. 1/117), which also has four similar youths on the reverse and an Amazonomachy with a rocky landscape of this same type. In style, the Boston krater is closely linked with the Sisyphus Painter and the Gravina Painter but is listed by Trendall and Cambitoglou among works associated with another member of the Sisyphus Group, the Ariadne Painter.

(text from Vase-Painting in italy, catalogue entry no. 9)


By date unknown: Robert E. Hecht, Jr. Collection; gift to MFA from Robert E. Hecht, Jr., March 11, 1970

Credit Line

Gift of Robert E. Hecht, Jr.