Fragmentary Apulian Red-Figure Calyx Krater (Side A)

Black Fury Group

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The body is decorated with a scene depicting the myth of the Kekropidai. At the center of the composition, Athena moves to the right, holding a spear in her right hand, with her left hand outstretched before her. She wears a richly decorated short-sleeve chiton belted to form an overfall. Her drapery is elaborately patterned with leaves, meanders, stars, and circle and has a dot- or ray-stripe border at the selvage. Athena’s snake-fringed aegis, shaded with an over-wash of dilute glaze and patterned with dots in dark brown glaze, covers her chest and left arm. Her helmet is also shaded and has details in darker glaze. Her hair, emerging from beneath the helmet, is a mass of curls drawn in relief in black glaze. She wears a four-strand necklace of white dots and a coil bracelet on her right forearm. A trace of added white for the sandal on the left foot remains.
Directly behind Athena and looking toward her stands Kekrops. He is half draped in a garment decorated with stars. It covers his left shoulder and the lower part of his body, and falls over his left arm. He holds a white staff, on which he leans. His right hand rests on his hip and one leg is crossed in front of the other. His curly beard and hair are drawn in dilute glaze. Below Kekrops stands the partially preserved figure of Erysichthon. Part of his head, upper torso, and lower legs are preserved. His high boots are shaded and elaborately detailed with laces and flaps. Over his left arm a mantle with a broad border and dots. His face has worried expression emphasized by the lines on his brow. He is striking down at the serpent, most of which, being in added white, is no longer visible.
Directly behind Kekrops are preserved only a single hand and booted foot of another figure, perhaps Hermes. Just below Athena, to the right on a large altar, of which some of the original added white is extant, sits Pandrosos, one of the three daughters of Kekrops, resting her arm on a chest with a pattern of alternating black and reserved squares. Her head and legs are turned to the left but her torso is twisted to the right; her expression is rather sorrowful. Her sleeveless chiton, shaded in light brown, is patterned with stars and an embattled, or crenellated, pattern. Broad bands of dark glaze mark the selvages of the overfall and skirt. She wears white earrings, a necklace of two strands of small beads, another one of large beads with small pendants of dot-cluster and a coil bracelet on her right arm. She is barefoot. Her hair, drawn in relief, falls in long, wavy tresses upon her shoulders.
To the immediate right are the two other daughters, Herse and Aglauros, driven away by Athena. Both look left at the box as they run to the right. The right hand of the daughter below is outstretched, and her left hand touches the top of her head in a gesture of alarm at the sight of the snake. Her dress is decorated with stars, and embattled pattern, rows of double parallel fold-lines, and selvages bordered with dot-stripes. The upper part is gathered to form voluminous folds. A mantle patterned with dots and a broad dark border is looped from behind her back and over both arms, on which are bracelets with three coils. She also wears a double-strand necklace of white beads and a black earring with white pendants. Her hair is styled in waves. At the upper right is the third daughter, in pose and drapery almost identical to her sister, moving rapidly to right. In front of Athena, in the field to right, is the olive tree sapling that signifies the action as taking place on the Acropolis, from which the daughters of Kekrops are preparing to hurl themselves. The scene, in view of the elaborate costumes worn by the participants, may well have been derived from a drama based on the story of the Kekropidai.

Reconstructed from fragments with large portions missing. Only the obverse is preserved; foot and half of right handle are missing. Some gaps have been filled and painted black. Some of original black glaze has been abraded. The vase has a torus mouth; concave body with offset band at top; upswung handles. Under rim: vine leaves with incised stem and tendrils; veins on leaves are rendered with black glaze. Below picture: meanders in groups of two separated by checkered squares above narrow band of egg pattern.

After Jentoft-Nilsen, M. R. and Trendall, A.D., CVA Malibu 3 (1990).


  • Title: Fragmentary Apulian Red-Figure Calyx Krater (Side A)
  • Creator: Black Fury Group
  • Date Created: about 370 B.C.
  • Location Created: Apulia, South Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 36.6 × 28.8 cm (14 7/16 × 11 5/16 in.)
  • Type: Krater
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 77.AE.93.1
  • Culture: Greek (South Italian, Apulian)
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Black Fury Group (Greek (Apulian), active early 300s B.C.)
  • Classification: Vessels (Containers)

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