Side B: Dionysos with satyrs and maenads

Side A: scene at center

Handle: right of side B

Side B: scene at center

Side A: Pothos

Side A: Triton

Collection: Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum
Summary: Side A: Europa on the bullSide B: Dionysos with satyrs and maenads.
Ware: Paestan Red Figure
Painter: Signed by Asteas
Date: ca. 340 BC

H. 71.0 cm., d. of mouth 61.0 cm., h. of foot 21.0 cm., d. of foot 29.0 cm.

Primary Citation: Trendall 1987, 2.129, pls. 49-51a
Shape: Calyx krater
Period: Late Classical


Parts of the rim are restored.

Decoration Description:

The top of the rim is decorated with ivy leaves and white flowers, now flaked, on an incised stem. The side of the rim holds reserved ivy leaves running to the right, with veins showing up in dilute glaze, as well as dotted berry-like rosettes in added white on an incised stem. On side A below the main scene, alternating black and reserved squares form a metope pattern between reserved lines; the cul holds a floral pattern in applied yellow and white, now mostly obliterated, of tendrils, flowers and buds connected to a central palmette flanked by scrolls. To the right and left the floral pattern ends in an "Asteas flower." Beneath the floral pattern are eggs between two narrow reserved lines. On side B the cul is better preserved; between reserved lines, white ivy leaves and berry clusters on an incised stem face the center, where a campanula divides the righthand train from the left. The overhanging lip on the stem has tongues separated by black lines ending in a white dot. On the foot, on both sides, are griffins chasing horses to the left. Below, reserved ivy leaves and white berry-rosettes on an incised stem are mostly flaked off. The lower edge and underside of the foot are reserved.

On side A, vertical reserved bands and a white capital at the top define the edge of the main picture. Two diagonal bands, their lower edges white, separate the upper corners into triangular scenes and make the main scene pentagonal. In this area, Europa on the bull is depicted. Europa sits on its white back, as it flies left over the sea, shown by figures of Scylla, Triton, and several marine creatures. Europa is dressed in a chiton, held at the waist by a studded girdle, and with a row of white beads running down each sleeve. The chiton is decorated with palmettes, stars, meanders, and a checkerboard pattern at the lower edges. Europa holds a shawl in her left hand; it is wrapped over her right arm and blows out behind her with fine black dots in its design. Her shoulder-length hair, shown in relief with a dilute glaze, is in ringlet curls. She has an earring, a necklace of white pendants, a bracelet on each arm, and sandals. The bull is rendered in added white, with flaked-off patches. Its anatomical details are in shades of dilute glaze, and the pupil in its eye a large black dot.

To the left of the bull, Scylla is shading her eyes as she stares at it. Her hair resembles Europa's in dilute glaze. Her upper body is naked except for a white pendant bead necklace. Her lower body is a sea monster's, with two dogs in added white and dilute glaze, emerging from the front. The sea monster portion is covered in white scales with black outlines, as well as a row of sharp spines projecting along the upper edge. The lower edge has markings in dilute glaze. The rest of the body, with its forked tail, is decorated in black circles filled with white. Scylla holds a trident, whose prongs and shaft bottom are in added white.

Behind the bull, Triton is holding an oar in his left hand, while in his right is a small octopus in dilute glaze . Its eyes in white and black, it curls its tentacles around his forearm. Triton's body is covered with black circular scales; his other features are in added red and white. His tail is forked like Sylla's, but its top edge is red.

A naked Pothos, the personification of passionate desire, hovers over Europa. His wings are almost completely worn away, but were in added white with details in dilute glaze. Wearing a white wreath, a white beaded bandolier, white bracelets on wrist and left ankle, shoes, and a mantle in added red with white dots, he holds a small, mostly obliterated spray in his right hand and in his left a small circlet of white beads, also mostly gone now, and a phiale in white and metal-like dilute glaze. Seventeen marine animals, including an octopus, torpedoes, dogfish, and striped bass, fill the lower field. They are in added white with details in dark yellow.

Three figures gaze down from each triangular frame. To the left, a knee-length figure of Zeus and busts of Crete and Hermes fill the space. Zeus holds a scepter with a white palmette tip in his right hand, and he wears a cloak embroidered with stars, palmettes, circles and a checkerboard-pattern border. Crete, who represents the island where Europa will be taken, is wearing a bandeau in added red and a chiton decorated like Zeus's. Palmettes are added on the sleeves, as well as a studded white girdle. The back of her head is covered by a piece of drapery. She has a diadem, earring, necklace, and bracelets in added white. Hermes is wearing a wreath, a chlamys fastened at the throat by a brooch, and a petasos, mostly obliterated, behind his back. He is holding a kerykeion in his right hand. The brooch, wreath, and end of the kerykeion are white.

Looking down from the left triangle are busts of Eros and Adonis, as well as a knee-length figure of Aphrodite. Eros's wings were in added white, mostly lost now. A reddish brown drapery piece covers the lower part of his body, and in his right hand is an unidentified object. The effeminate Adonis has long curling tresses in dilute glaze, as well as a long-sleeved chiton with embroidered circles, stars, and palmettes. White beads and black dots between white lines run down the sleeves. A cloak with fine lines and a checkerboard border is seen over his left arm and lower body. With his left hand on his hip, he extends his right arm. Aphrodite, with added white flesh, has her right hand on his shoulder. Her chiton has stars and a broad added-red stripe down the front, while her himation is patterned with circles and a checkerboard edge. She also wears a white diadem, a headband in added red with a white dot pattern, an earring and a necklace of pendants in dilute glaze.

Side B is a Dionysiac scene. Horizontal and vertical reserved bands frame the picture, including a horizontal band about one third of the way down, dividing the scene into a main lower and a smaller upper panel. Capitals in added white adorn the upright bands, the left-hand side largely gone. In the main scene Dionysos in the center, a maenad and a satyr are all moving to the right. The maenad wears a short-sleeved chiton with dot-clusters and dot-stripes and an overfall, and with white beads down the sleeves, and a spotted fawn skin in dilute glaze. She has a white wreath, a white bead necklace, two white bracelets and shoes with white dots. She holds a yellow torch with a red flame in her left hand and a second wreath in her right. Dionysos is naked except for a mantle with dot-stripe edges, a fillet in dilute glaze, tied in a bow at the back and decorated with black dots and white ivy leaves, a bandolier of white beads and shoes with white dots. In his left hand he has two eggs in added white; in his right is a white thyrsos with a red fillet tied near the top. On the far right, in front of Dionysos, is a satyr wearing a white wreath, a white beaded bandolier, and shoes with white edges. His tail is drawn with thin stripes of black over a dilute glaze wash. From his left hand hangs a red fillet, while with that hand he holds a phiale with eggs. In his right hand is a thyrsos like Dionysos's.

In the smaller upper panel are five half-length figures: a papposilen in the center with two maenads to one side and a third maenad and Pan on the other. The three maenads are dressed identically to the maenad in the main scene, except that the far left maenad's chiton is sleeveless. This one looks to the right and holds a bell in her left hand and a phiale in her right. The next maenad turns her head back toward the first and holds a flaming yellow torch in her left hand. The papposilen, with white dots suggesting hair tufts on his body, wears a fawn skin and fillet in added red. His hair, beard, and the white of his eye are white. In his left hand he holds a red tambourine with a black center. The third maenad is looking toward him, with a thyrsos tied with a red fillet in her left hand and a bell in her right. Pan, leading the procession, has diluted glaze dots to show hair on his body; he is wearing a white wreath. In his left hand he holds white cymbals and in his right a white bead circlet. His hip is covered in a wash of dilute glaze.

Shape Description:

The vessel has a flaring mouth and overhanging lip. The elongated, slightly concave body has an offset band at the top. The handles are set high and curve upward, turning sharply in at the top. On the stem is a relief band between two thin reserved grooves. Where the stem meets the foot is a wide overhanging lip. Another relief band is seen between two reserved grooves on the stem's outward curve toward the foot. The foot has three portions, with a flange at the top. The upper most portion is reserved, as is the groove where it joins the edge of the stem.


On side A, Europa, Scylla, Triton, and Pothos are each labelled, *E*U*R*W*P*H, *S*K*U*L*A, *T*R*I*T*W*N, and *P*O*Q*O*S. In the triangular frames above the main scene, Zeus, Crete, and Hermes are labelled on the left--*Z*E*U*S, *K*R*H*T*H, and [epig-rough]*E*R*M*H*S--and Adonis and Aphrodite on the right--*A*D*O*N*I*S and *A*F*R*O*D*I*T*H.

Sources Used:

CVA, USA 27, Malibu 4, pp. 45-47, pls. 231-234

Other Bibliography:

M. Jentoft-Nilsen, "A Krater by Asteas," Greek Vases in the Getty 1 (1983), pp. 139-148, figs. 1-4; O. Taplin, Greek Fire (London, 1989), p. 67, p. 66 (ill.); E. Zahn, Europa und der Stier (W├╝rzburg, 1983), p. 122, no. 66; Trendall 1987, p. 85, no. 2/129, pls. 49-51a, and pp. 92-94; Trendall 1989, pp. 200-201, figs. 349-350; LIMC, III, s. v. "Eros," p. 933, no. 1013; LIMC, IV, s. v. "Europe I," p. 80, no. 74, pl. 38.