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Fragment of a Bell Krater
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Gift of Suzanne A. Rosenborg

Attributed to the Konnakis Painter
Greek, South Italy, about 350 B.C.
Terracotta
4 3/16 x 4 5/16 in.
83.AE.431

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The woman depicted on this small fragment of a vase probably represents one of the Muses, the goddesses of learning and the arts. She holds a lyre, a harp-like stringed instrument, and her posture suggests that she is seated. Richly dressed, this muse wears a mantle decorated with groups of three white dots over her dress, and her cloth headband is equally lavish. She also wears several pieces of jewelry: a diadem, earrings, a necklace, and bracelet. The care the artist took with the rich details of this scene was typical of vases created in the 300s in the Greek colonies in South Italy.

The fragment comes from a large calyx-krater decorated in a technique that scholars call Gnathian. The painter covered the entire surface of the vase with a black glaze and then added his decoration over the glaze. The bright, wide-ranging color palette seen on this fragment is typical of Gnathian pottery. Unusual, however, is the use of shading, as in the golden color on the upper side of the forearm, to suggest roundness.