A large Attic red-figure bell krater
Lot 9*
A large Attic red-figure bell krater
£25,000 - 35,000
US$ 42,000 - 59,000
Auction Details
A large Attic red-figure bell krater A large Attic red-figure bell krater
Lot Details
A large Attic red-figure bell krater
Attributed to the Retorted Painter, circa 380-360 B.C.
The decoration enlivened with added white paint, showing on side (a) a battle between Arimasps and Griffins, composed with four Arimasps, three standing and one kneeling, all wearing typical 'oriental' dress of patterned smocks with striped trousers and sleeves, wearing Phrygian caps over their long wavy hair, three holding spears and one holding a shield with a snake motif, fighting two white-painted winged griffins, side (b) showing a central figure of winged Nike, holding a phiale in her left hand, her right arm outstretched towards the draped youth on the right holding a staff, another youth behind her bearing a timpanum, double palmettes under the handles, meander with chequered squares along the baseline, a band of laurel beneath the rim, ovolo around the handles, 16¼in (42cm) high, repaired with some restoration


  • Provenance:
    Acquired at Sotheby's London, May 20th, 1985.

    On loan to the Borchardt Library, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, March 1995 - April 2008.

    Sotheby's London, Antiquities, May 20th, 1985, lot 383.

    The Retorted Painter is associated with the Telos Group and derives its name from the eyes of its reverse figures which are often turned in instead of out - oculi retorti. Cf. J.D. Beazley, Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, (2nd edition, Oxford 1968), vol. II, pp. 1429-31; and J.D. Beazley & M. Robinson, Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, (Castle Ashby, Oxford), vol. I, pls. 24/4 & 25/9.

    Arimasps, according to Herodotus, were peoples from the Scythian steppes. Said to be one-eyed, Greek mythology has them in constant battle with the Griffins for their hoard of gold. In vase painting, Arimasps are depicted with the same 'oriental' conventions of dress as Persians and Amazons: they are all deemed barbarians, wearing patterned smocks with trousers and Phrygian caps, at complete odds with the heroic nudity or armour of Greek warriors.

Saleroom notices

  • This lot has been withdrawn from sale.
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