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Side A: two comic actors

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Three-dimensional approximation of the vase

Collection: London, British Museum
Summary: Side A: Two comic actors in costumes and masks on an elevated stageSide B: Two youths
Ware: Paestan Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to Python
Context: From Capua
Date: ca. 340 BC

H. 0.40 m.; Diam. (max.) 0.39 m

Primary Citation: Trendall 1987, 2.280, pl. 103a-b
Shape: Bell krater
Region: Campania
Period: Late Classical/Early Hellenistic

Decoration Description:

Side A: Scene from a comedy. A high stage is supported by a Doric column and two pilasters, from which hang two purple fillets and four vine branches. On it a father drags his son home from a banquet. The father is on the right; he has a mask with short, stiff, white hair, a beard and moustache. He wears a jerkin and leggings, over which is a short white chiton with yellow stripes and a purple border, and an embroidered mantle is wrapped round his body and over his left arm. He wears a purple phallus and has a padded stomach, which is the standard equipment of comic actors. In his left hand he carries a hooked stick, and he walks to the right, looking back, while grabbing his son's wrist with his right hand. The son wears a mask with black hair and beard, and a wreath. He carries a lantern in his right hand, and a phiale (drinking vessel) and purple fillet with yellow spots in his left. He wears clothes similar to his father's. Behind him is a swan, pecking on the ground.

Side B: Two youths stand facing each other. The one on the left has long curly hair, in which is a wreath. He wears a long chiton and himation with a dotted border, sandals, and carries a staff. The other wears a fillet, and his clothing is similar to the first. In his right hand he holds a fillet and a white fruit or ball, in his left is a staff. Between them a fillet hangs on the wall.

The himatia borders are typical of Python's style (Trendall, 203, fig. 17).

The upper border is a laurel wreath, the lower is a wave pattern. Palmettes are below the handles.

Collection History:

Castellani Collection, 1873.

Sources Used:

CVA, Gr. Brit. 2, Brit Museum 2; Trendall 1966, pl. 14b, p. 11; Walters 1893, 97, 98

Other Bibliography:

Williams 1985, p. 64, fig. 74b; Trendall 1989, 202, 203