Red-figure kalyx krater

Unknown"circa 380 BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art
Athens, Greece

The subject on the main side of this Attic krater is the Rape of Europa. Zeus, smitten by the beauty of Europa, daughter of the King of Phoenicia Agenor, transformed himself into a snow-white bull in order to seduce the young princess while she was picking flowers on the seashore. The princess, enchanted by this creature, mounted its back and she suddenly found herself flying over the sea, denoted here by the presence of fish. Hermes leads the way for the bull-Zeus. The winged Eros, who follows, hints at the passion that will draw the god and the mortal into their divine union at Gortyn on Crete, where the couple eventually landed. From her union with Zeus Europa gave birth to three sons, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon and Minos. On the other side of the krater are three himation-clad youths in conversation. The Rape of Europa, whose name means "she with the wide eyes" or "she of the broad countenance" and after whom the continent of Europe is named, was a particularly popular subject in Attic vase-painting during the first quarter of the 5th c. BC and continued to be depicted later.


  • Title: Red-figure kalyx krater
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Gender: None
  • Date Created: "circa 380 BC" - ""
  • Read more: <a href="http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=resource&cresrc=799&cnode=55&clang=1">Read more</a>
  • Provenance: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: h238 mm
  • Period: Classical period
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Type: calyx krater
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, C. Politis Collection, no. 26, http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=25&clang=1
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: clay

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