Vermeule Collection (Buitron No. 73)RED-FIGURE CALYX-KRATER
Lent by Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius C. Vermeule, III
Height: 13 13/16 in. (35 cm.)
Reconstructed from worn fragments.
Side A: Dionysos in Gigantomachy. In the center Dionysos lifts his thyrsos-ended spear against a giant. Two snakes help in the attack, one biting the giant's leg and one, the giant's arm. Dionysos is dressed in a chiton with kolpos, a chlamys, laced boots, and helmet. The giant, in chiton and corslet with pteryges, holds a shield. On the left a crouching satyr in a helmet advances to aid Dionysos; he has pulled his sword from its scabbard. Side B: two chariots drawn by pairs of satyrs in Chalcidian helmets. At the left over the handle is an old papposilenos and a little satyriskos. Next come the two satyr-driven chariots, the troops advancing to help Dionysos. The chariot wheels have eight spokes as opposed to the customary four. One of the satyrs holds a spare thyrsos. Above the scene, upright and reversed ivy leaves; below the scene, triple meanders alternating with saltires, and a band of upright and reversed ivy leaves. Dilute glaze: shading on the helmets, hair, beards, leaves of the tree, and satyr tails and harnesses; ornaments of the giant's belt and Dionysos' boots; pattern on the snake.
Unattributed ca. 430 - 420 B. C. Dionysos in the Gigantomachy is frequently aided by lions, panthers, or snakes, as here. The satyr bigas (chariots drawn by two satyrs) are also found on several other vases (Caskey & Beazley, 2, pp. 70-71). Although the vase is very worn, three of the faces are clearly visible and are remarkably individualistic. Also unusual are the satyrs wearing helmets.