Collection: Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
Summary: Side A: Satyrs and maenads with Eros/PothosSide B: Three youths
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Pothos Painter
Context: From Italy, probably near Naples
Date: ca. 420 BC

H. 0.320 m., D. 0.355 m.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 1188, 1686
Shape: Bell krater
Beazley Number: 215735
Region: Campania
Period: High Classical

Decoration Description:

Side A: Satyrs and maenads with Eros/Pothos. A nude silen, bearded and with a garland in added white moves from left to right. In his raised left hand is a fillet in added white on his head. With his right forearm he grasps the right forearm of a Maenad who staggers forward, her head with short unbound tresses, thrown back in ecstasy. She wears a long Doric chiton with an overfold. In her right hand is a thyrsos, on her left arm a skin with a herringbone design in red on it. At this point, the ground, which is indicated by a black line, rises into a small mound on which is a plant. Above and to the right of this mound flies a nude, youthful winged boy, beardless, and with a garland of ivy leaves in his hair. He plays the double flute and, like the other figures, moves right. The quiet pose of this flying figure serves to bring out more plainly the frenzy of the others, while his name, Pothos or Desire as opposed to Eros or Love, serves to accentuate the orgiastic quality of the scene. At his right a second Maenad is reeling forward in a drunken frenzy. She wears a skin over a Doric chiton, tied with a ribbon beneath the breast, and fastened at the left shoulder. Her right arm is raised and her left lowered, and in each she holds an ivy branch with leaves and berries. Finally to the right, a nude, bearded silen dances to the right. Looking around at the Maenad, he holds a flaming torch in his right hand, his left arm raised over his garlanded head.

Side B: Three youths. Most of this side is missing, only the figure at the right is complete. Beardless, he faces left, dressed in a himation and has a fillet around his head. In his right hand he holds a strigil. Of the central figure only a part of the drapery is left. Of the figure at the left, only the feet, lower part of the drapery and a small bit of the upper part remain. From the name of the winged boy, Beazley calls the painter of this vase The Pothos Painter, and lists a number of works by his hand.

Shape Description:

no.1, with lugs


Side A: Over the nude silen's head runs the inscription *K*O*M*O*S, "komos". Over the maenad's head is her name *Q*A*L*I*A, "Thalia"; at her right is the inscription *K*O*L*O*S, "kolos" for kalos, "beautiful". Over the head of the winged boy is his name *P*O*Q*O*S, "pothos" or Desire. Over the head of the second maenad is her name, *E*U*D*I*A, "Eudia"? or perhaps *E*U[*O]*D*I*A, "Eu(o)dia"(?). Over the head of the bearded silen is his name, *O*I*N*O*S, Oinos, "wine".

Collection History:

Formerly in Hamilton and Hope collections. Purchased at Hope Sale, 1917. Gift of Mrs. Gustav Radeke, 1923.

Sources Used:

CVA, USA 2, RISD 1, p.30, Pl.23: 1a-c

Other Bibliography:

BCH (1984) 128, fig.7a