• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Lydos Column Krater

Page history last edited by Ms Allaker 11 years, 12 months ago


Lydos Column Krater












This is the second of the 16 set works that must be looked at.  This one is much less detailed than the Francois Vase, and consequently we need to go into more detail in our study of it.



Date:              550-40 BC

Type:             Column Krater-Black figure

Potter:           Unknown

Painter:         Lydos not signed, but his through style.

Height:          56.5 cm

Subject:        Return of Hephaistos from Mt Etna to Olympus, accompanied by Dionysos.


You will now need further notes on the painter and his style and development; and on the details of the vase itself.  Referring to your earlier sheets, you might like to remind yourself what a crater was used for by the Greeks.  It was used for ___________________________. Why might this illustration have been in any way appropriate ?


There is one further thing you might well ask.  How do we know who it is, since the characters aren't named in the same way they were on the Francois Vase ? Easy.  Dionysos is always portrayed as a bearded, gowned man carrying a vine prop, and wearing a wreath of some sort.  He is also always accompanied by satyrs (the ones with tails) and maenads (the ones without tails, but accompanying satyrs!) Since the most famous piece of accompanying that he did was with Hephaistos, and the other character looks regal and is well adorned, what else could it be !? Convinced ? Neither am 1, but it's right !! Now, on with your own notes about this fascinating vase.


 The painter

An immigrant from Lydia in Asia Minor (hence Lydos), but learnt his trade in Athens.  High quality, but stylistically very similar to other vases, suggesting that he was a member of a larger workshop.  In other vases he painted the decoration was purely animal, unlike this one which is devoted to myth . Figures are much larger and more elaborate than those of Kleitias, but still very much the same in their style (figures up to 25 cm high).  Lydos painted both large and small pieces.  His satyrs are not sexually active or rough, note the flaccid penises compared with those of the lower belly of the Francois Vase.  There are generally fewer incised details than in Kleitias' work with the exception of the stippling that creates the effect of hair on the satyrs, and the traces of white that remain on the maenads.  There is some very impressive incision work on the hems of the maenads.


Subject matter 

Same as the reverse belly of the Francois Vase, the return of Hephaistos from Mt.  Etna to Mt.  Olympus, led by Dionysis.  They are accompanied by satyrs (the ones with the tails) and maenads (the females wearing clothes and not tails).  One side depicts one figure, the other side, the other figure.  Hephaistos is the character riding on a donkey, while Dionysis is walking.  Note the satyrs holding snakes, and another sneaking a drink from the top of a wine skin, and pulling the tall of the satyr in front, a mood of fun.



This is the way that the whole vase is put together with its various elements.  The main tableau is bordered above by alternating red and black tongues, that vary in size around the vase.  This is probably not deliberate, and shows that the artist was not perhaps as impressive as he might appear in the first instance.  It is bordered below by thinnish red bands The vase itself is large, especially in its girth, and would certainly have taken two slaves to lift.  Almost all the figures look to the right, as you look at the vase, but there are ten exceptions out of the 27 figures.

a)    Satyr to the immediate left of Hephaistos, who is FF

b)    Satyr two to the left of Dionysis, who is FF

C)   Satyr four to the right of Dionysis (head only)

d)    Satyr seven to the right of Dionysis (head only)

e)    The group of satyrs and maenads to the right of Hephaistos includes six figures facing to the left (including he small one under the handles: some are heads only (see schematic representation).


The other figures on the vase are along the rim of the vase.  Here we can see bulls, boars, panthers, deer and lions engaged in tussles.  Above the handles are gorgoneions, they are flanked by cranes and are virtually identical.


Technique and style 

Standard Black figure pot with the white to indicate women, this was quite standard.  The coral red slip has been used for tongues, the clothes of some of the maenads, the wine sacks and Dionysis' robe.  The clothing portrayed is heavy and foldless, except the end of Dionysis' cloak which has some large rudimentary folds.  There is overlapping present, but no real illusion of depth, despite this.  The forward looking trends that are present here are:


a)    Freer movement of large scale figures

b)    Attempts to capture emotion

c)     Beginning of folds in Dionysis' drapery.



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.