The image on this tile is a detail taken from the famous François Vase, a black-figure volute krater dating to ca 570-560 B.C., discovered in 1845 in a tomb in Chiusi, Etruria, by the archaeologist Alessandro François.  The François Vase is now in the Museo Archeologico in Florence. It is widely considered to be one of the most important black-figure vases. It is signed by Ergotimos as potter and Kleitias as painter, and is decorated with 270 human and animal figures, painstakingly described with 121 inscriptions.

The decoration is composed of six friezes, each representing a different mythological episode.

The scene on our tile is taken from the frieze on the lower register of the neck, which depicts the Funeral Games held in honour of Patroklos. Two of the five charioteers, Hippothoon and Damasipos, brother-in-law of Odysseus, can be seen charging along in a race conducted by Achilles. A vase and a tripod are visible beneath each set of horses, intended as prizes for the competitors.

Here is an excerpt from Homer’s Iliad, Book 23, 227 ff., describing how the prizes were brought out by Achilles:

                                                                                                    But Achilles
held the people there, and made them sit down in a wide assembly,
and brought prizes for games out of his ships, cauldrons and tripods,
and horses and mules and the powerful high heads of cattle
and fair-girdled women and grey iron . First of all
he set forth the glorious prizes for speed of foot for the horsemen:
a woman faultless in the work of her hands to lead away
and a tripod with ears and holding twenty-two measures
for the first prize; and for the second he set forth a six-year-old
unbroken mare who carried a mule foal within her.
Then for the third prize he set forth a splendid unfired
cauldron, which held four measures , with its natural gloss still upon it.
For the fourth place he set out two talents’ weight of gold, and for

the fifth place set forth an unfired jar with two handles

This tile is produced and hand-painted for us in Greece. There may be a slight variation in colour from piece to piece.

In order to make them look as close to the original as possible, many of the tiles have a 'craquelure' effect, to replicate the fine pattern of "cracking" formed on the surface of paintings, caused by the ageing of paints and pigments. Should you wish to put these tiles in a bathroom or garden, we recommend that you apply a coat of transparent PVA sealant to protect them from rain and frost.

They are supplied ready to hang, with a sturdy, embedded metal strip or, if preferred, they can be incorporated as features within a tiled wall.

dimensions etc Length: 60cm Height: 22cm Depth: 1.5cm

black-figure ceramic tile - chariot race for Patroklos

  • Code: KR-44
  • Status: In Stock
  • £150.00

  • excl tax: £125.00

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Tags: black-figure tile, Homer, tripod, chariot, games