Greece: People
The Melanippe Krater
Top of the Krater
This vase is a krater -- a form of Greek vase which was used for mixing wine and water. The body of the base is decorated with figures divided into two "registers" or levels. In the upper level, the gods gather in the rocky landscape of Mt. Olympos to watch the story of Melanippe's family below. Artemis, Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite, and Poseidon watch the mortals below. We can identify them by the way they are represented and the objects they carry.
Bottom of the Krater
The illustration of the Melanippe play on the lower register of the vase represents not one scene, but several parts of the story. Remember that all of the characters would not have appeared in any single scene in the play since each each actor played several roles. The vase painter has identified each character for us with an inscription of their name.
The scene on the other side of the vase is related to its function. The krater was probably found in a tomb, created as an offering to the deceased.

© 2006 Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University,
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art
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Last Update: Tuesday, 15-Jun-04, 11:58:07