Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Bologna

Attic red-figure volute krater with scenes from war of Troy

Because of its monumental dimension and its complex pictorial cycle this krater, together with that of the “Tomba Grande” in the Giardini Margherita necropolis, represents one of the most exclusive, prestigious Greek imports present in Bologna.

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The illustrated scenes narrate epic and mythological episodes: on the neck of one side, Theseus’ battle against the Centaurs; on the other Heracles and the centaur Pholus before a huge container of wine; on the body, three scenes from the war of Troy: Neoptolemus killing King Priam; the abduction of Cassandra by Ajax the Lesser before a statue dedicated to worship of Athena; aged Aethra, mother of Theseus, recognized by her grandsons Demophon and Acamas. The krater has been attributed to the “Painter of the Niobides”, a sophisticated exponent of the first Classical phase, whose production is widely documented throughout Po Valley Etruria. It is likely that the krater came from a female tomb, since two alabaster unguentaria were also found there; the tomb can be dated just after the mid-5th century BC.

Provenance: Bologna, Arnoaldi necropolis, tomb 88
Datation: 475–465 BC, Painter of the Niobides
Material: clay
Inventory #: 18108

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