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Greek Attic Red-Figure Calyx Krater - Aphrodite & Eros

Greece, Athens, Late Attic, ca. 350 BCE. A lovely calyx krater depicting intriguing figural scenes and wonderful decorative motifs in the field. Side A presents a seated female - perhaps Aphrodite, perhaps a bride - partially nude with her breasts revealed, holding a flowering garland in her outstretched hands. Behind her is Eros with grand wings and nude save the wreath adorning his curly coiffure. In front of her is a male standing in contrapposto, also nude save a cloak draped over the crook of his left arm with folds of drapery falling behind his body, and a wreath adorning his wavy coiffure. Both flanking figures gesture toward the seated female, the standing man about to place a headdress on the woman's updo. Side B features two opposing draped youths holding a strigil and diskoi. All is delineated via the red-figure technique with added fugitive white pigment used to highlight the female's skin as well as the wreaths and garlands. Size: 8.75" in diameter x 10.25" H (22.2 cm x 26 cm)

Just who might this lovely lady be? Given the presence of Eros, it is possible that the female represents Aphrodite; however, it is also possible that she is a bride based on other examples. Certainly, her nudity may be deemed inappropriate before a male onlooker. Nevertheless, such imagery is not unheard of in Greek vase painting.

Contributing to the decorative program of this vase is a register of Greek key below each scene - the band below the seated Aphrodite/bride also showing a central square crossed by an "X" with dots occupying the interstices below. In addition, frets run around the perimeter of the outfolded rim, and a band of laurel leaves adorns the underside of the flared rim.

Condition: Rim to upper section (across Eros' wings) repaired from about a half dozen pieces. Otherwise, the rest of the vessel is intact with original handles and painting. Expected surface wear commensurate with age showing areas of pigment fading/loss, though most of the imagery is still quite legible. Areas of encrustation on handles, body, and interior as shown. Slight remains of wax on underside of base presumably for securing in former display. "754" handwritten on underside of base.

Provenance: ex-private T.S. collection, San Diego County, California, USA, acquired between 25 and 40 years ago

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