Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Apulian red-figure bell krater with the game of cottabos

The vases attributed to Apulian manufactories account for about half of the known production of Italiot red-figure pottery. Consequently, they play a significant role due also to the rich repertory of images they have handed down to us.

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Thanks to the discovery of numerous Apulian sites over the past few decades, our knowledge of local ceramics has grown enormously and it has been possible to distinguish more clearly between the two main types of vase decoration: the “simple” style and the more elaborate “ornate” style.

The former, exemplified by this krater attributed to the circle of the Tarporley Painter, is characterized by bell and column kraters, hydriai and pelikai with relatively simple depictions of one to four figures, often associated with Dionysus. Here, the god is depicted with a Silenus and a young woman as they prepare for a game of cottabos: the guests had to toss wine from cups, attempting to hit a plate balanced on a rod in the middle of the banquet room.

Provenance: Palagi Collection
Datation: First two decades of the 4th century BC, Bologna Painter PU 425
Material: clay
Dimensions: height cm 31,5
Inventory #: G 250 (PU 425)

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Exhibition rooms | Rooms V and VI - Greek collection