Bell Krater (mixing bowl for wine and water): Scene from a Comic Play

The McDaniel Painter400 BCE - 370 BCE

Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Art Museums

Pinkish-buff fabric with glossy black slip, misfired below handles, in the area between the two youths on the B-side of the vase, and within the doorway of the A-side scene. Added white and yellow in a good state of preservation. Low, thick, circular base tapers upward very slightly to a reserve band, and is flat on top. Narrow foot curves tightly outward to form a broad bell, with broad lip. Horizontal loop handles turn slightly upward and inward at ends and project as far as the lip of the vessel. A laurel band runs just beneath the lip. Beneath A- and B-side scenes is a meander border broken periodically by an X-shape within a square. The vase is in very good condition, unbroken with only minor cracks on the interior surface, and minor chipping, particularly around the lip.

On the obverse is a simple stage (Type I, Trendall, Phlyax) without supporting columns. A phlyax stands on the left with a Doric column behind him. He wears padded tights and jacket and a black bordered cloak. Concealed within the folds of the cloak are yellow and white objects. He wears a headband and his hair and beard are white (Type L, Phlyax). In his right hand he holds a crooked staff.

To the far right is a double door through which has just come an old woman, who advances towards the phlyax with outstretched arms. She wears a long-sleeved peplos with a thick black border. She has short white hair and a straight nose, and her mouth is open (Type R, Phlyax). Hanging above and between the two figures is a comic mask with a good head of hair, short beard, and open mouth (Type B, Phlyax).

On the reverse, two youths stand facing each other. The one to the left holds a staff in his right hand; his right shoulder is bare. The youth to the right has both arms concealed in his himation. Between them hang a pair of weights, symbol of the palaestra.

This is the name-piece of the McDaniel Painter. Particularly characteristic of this artist are the thin laurel leaves around the rim and the relatively small meander.

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  • Title: Bell Krater (mixing bowl for wine and water): Scene from a Comic Play
  • Date: 400 BCE - 370 BCE
  • Technique: Red-figure
  • Physical Dimensions: h30.0 cm
  • Period: Classical period, Late
  • Credit Line: Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University
  • Creation Place: Apulia/Europe/Ancient & Byzantine World
  • Artist: The McDaniel Painter
  • Type: Vessels
  • External Link: Harvard Art Museums
  • Medium: Terracotta


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