Red Figure Column Krater with two scenes

Syriskos Painter-0480/-0460

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This large ceramic vessel, called a column krater, was used for mixing water and wine. It is exceptional for its size, its beautifully balanced composition, and the finely painted figures.

The primary characters are important deities from Greek mythology. On the front, Zeus and Hera—king and queen of the Olympian gods—are seated on either side of the winged goddess Iris, who pours an offering from a jug called an oinochoe into a dish called a phiale, held by Zeus. Iris extends her left hand toward Hera, who grasps it in her own hand. Hermes, messenger to the gods, walks to the left but looks back to the right. The other side of the column krater depicts a woman standing between two youths.

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  • Title: Red Figure Column Krater with two scenes
  • Creator: Syriskos Painter
  • Date Created: -0480/-0460
  • Physical Dimensions: w41.9 x h44.2 x d36.8 cm (overall)
  • Type: Ceramics; Painting
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Terracotta with slip
  • Style: Attic
  • Period: Classical
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the Museum Collectors; Mr. and Mrs. James M. Vaughn, Jr. / The Vaughn Foundation Fund; Isabel B. and Wallace S. Wilson; Nina and Michael Zilkha; Nancy and Mark Abendshein; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Drs. Ellin and Robert G. Grossman; Caroline Wiess Law; and Frances and Peter Marzio