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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Monumental Apulian Red-Figure Volute Krater Attributed to the Licurgus Painter

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LOT 0093

GBP (£) 50,000 - 70,000
EUR (€) 58,700 - 82,180
USD ($) 63,720 - 89,200

Opening Bid
£25,000 (EUR 29,351; USD 31,858) (‡+bp*)

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CIRCA 330 B.C.
30 7/8 in. (13.85 kg, 78.5 cm high).

With a flared and carinated foot, meander patterns around the lower body, band of rosettes encircling the neck, gusseted handles with masks to the outer faces opening to two columnar legs, broad shoulder with loops flanking the handles; red-figure scenes to the neck and body: Side a: above, a quadriga with Nike at the reins, wings spread; below, naiskos with flanking columns, hero standing beside his horse, resting on his spear, wearing a muscled armour, surrounded by seated and reclining females and youths in various poses, one of the youths holding the hero's pointed boots in his hand; Side b: above, a palmette, below column with decorative ribbons flanked by two seated males and two females offering votive gifts; some restoration.

Private collection, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Ex collection H.& P. Payot, Clarens, by descent.

Accompanied an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by a search certificate number no.12066-218199.

Cf. a similar Apulian red-figure volute-krater attributed to the Baltimore painter in Metropolitan Museum, New York, accession no.69.11.7, in Heuer, K.E. ‘Vases with faces: isolated heads in South Italian Vase Paintings’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal,Vol. 50 (2015), pp.62-91, figs.3a-3b; for a volute krater with Nike driving a four-horse chariot see the Apotheosis of Herakles in the Archaeological Museum of Napoli (circa 360-350 B.C.), attributed to the painter of Licurgus, which shows the same decoration with faces on the volute handles.

Monumental kraters such as this one are typical of the Apulian red-figure production that developed between circa 440 and 300 B.C. in the region of the Greek colonies of Taranto and Metaponto in Southern Italy, where they were used as tomb markers in cemeteries. Here the painter focuses on the celebration of the hero-warrior, surrounded by young women and men, the image of the victorious leader is emphasised by the full panoply and iconography of Nike.