Attributed to the Rycroft painter by John Beazley, the original vase is now in the Toledo Museum of Art. Dating to the end of the 6th century B.C., this piece is a variation of a popular scene in Greek art, in which the Homeric heroes Achilles and Ajax take part in a leisurely board game. Unlike the competition found on the battlefield, here the two friends find a brief moment of respite in each other's company. Similar to the famous Exekias amphora, this depiction focuses on the relationship between the two most renowned warriors from Homer's Iliad. Both destined to tragic deaths at Troy, the men enjoy a game as common soldiers. The goddess Athena, complete with aegis and weaponry, stands watch over the warriors and was a notable patron of the Greek allies during the Trojan War.

On the reverse, two men poised with javelins stand astride a chariot ready for battle. Their presence as symbols of war reminds the viewer of the brevity of life for our heroes. The excitement and motion of combat provides a constrast to the serene moment opposite.

The black figure technique reached its pinnacle near the end of the 6th century and intricate incisions were used to create the detail we can see on the armour and garments. The artist has also added white and red tones to highlight metal and cloth. Mirroring palm trees adds an exotic element to the setting of Homeric Troy. Calyx kraters would have been used during symposia in ancient Greece for mixing wine and featured well- known scenes that would have served as converstation starters.

This vase is made and painted for us in Greece.

dimensions Height: 21cm

black-figure calyx krater - Athena, Ajax and Achilles

  • Code: VO-89
  • Status: In Stock
  • £150.00

  • excl tax: £125.00