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Figures march single file and play musical instruments

The vessel resembles a tall bowl with two handles on either side. It is painted black, and in red there is a scene of figures marching from left to right. Some are nude with tails, and they play musical instruments. Another figure in robes rides a horse and holds an object that looks like a hatchet over his shoulder. There is some damage to the vessel which leaves gaps in the image. There are floral motifs along the upper rim of the vessel.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Attributed to The Kleophrades Painter, Greek
Calyx Krater (mixing bowl for wine and water): Return of Hephaistos to Olympos
Work Type
c. 500 BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Athens (Attica)
Archaic period
Persistent Link


Level 3, Room 3400, Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Art, Ancient Greece in Black and Orange
View this object's location on our interactive map

Physical Descriptions

43.8 cm h x 48 cm diam (17 1/4 x 18 7/8 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Jacob Hirsch, New York, (by 1933), sold; to Frederick M. Watkins, (1941-1960), gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1960.

State, Edition, Standard Reference Number

Standard Reference Number
Beazley Archive Database #201683

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Frederick M. Watkins
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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This krater (mixing bowl for wine and water) features a lively depiction of the return of the god of the forge Hephaistos to Olympos, the home of the gods. Hephaistos had previously been exiled from the land of the gods since he had insulted is mother, queen of the gods, Hera. The parade, featuring Dionysos, Hephaistos, and satyrs follows the wine god and circles around the entire vase with no clear beginning or end. On one side, the god Dionysos, who takes a central place on this side of the vase. The god walks forward wearing a leopard skin beneath a cloak draped over both his shoulders. He holds in one hand a grape vine whose branches extend over him and behind him. In his other hand, he holds a kantharos (two-handled wine cup) with body and foot rendered in black. He is flanked by two satyrs wearing leopard skins tied at the neck. The one in front of the god plays the pipes, tailing another satyr who is nude and carries a wineskin. The other strums a lyre with a plectrum and tilts his head back in song. Behind him, a satyr carries a large krater (mixing bowl for wine and water), his arm unable to wrap around the entire vessel. He turns his head towards the viewer, clearly unable to see past the bulky pot he carries. This krater adds a playful visual element as it is the same kind of bowl that this decoration is painted on, tickling the viewer with an instance of self-reference. Another satyr carries an axe resting on his shoulder, a humorous imitation of the god Hephaistos parading just a few steps behind him. Another satyr carries a large amphora (storage vessel, sometimes for wine) on his shoulder as he looks back at the god sitting upon the donkey. Just like the participants who wear wreaths on their heads, the amphora is decorated with painted on ivy leaves. Finally, we reach Hephaistos who sits atop a tall donkey with his axe slung over his shoulder and wearing a wreath and a simple cloak. His head and axe rise above the border of the image, emphasizing his height compared to the rest. Like the satyrs, the donkey has an exaggeratedly long erection, contributing to the crude humor of the rowdy scene. Behind him, a satyr follows, strumming a kithara (large lyre). He is followed by a satyr playing the pipes (aulos), carrying the bellows for the fire of Hephaistos' forge on his shoulder. Behind him and above the handle, a pair of satyrs engage in a playful conversation. One faces frontally, emphasizing his exaggerated erection as he gestures to his companion on the left, who holds a drinking horn and lifts a leg into the air.

Publication History

  • Gisela M.A. Richter, The Kleophrades Painter, American Journal of Archaeology (1936), 40, 101-103
  • Ancient Art in American Private Collections, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1954), no. 273, pl. 81.
  • J. D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, England, 1963), 185.31.
  • Adolf Greifenhagen, Neue Fragmente des Kleophradesmalers (Heidelberg, 1972), Pl. 10.2
  • The Frederick M. Watkins Collection, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1973), pp. 50-51, no. 20
  • John Boardman, Athenian Red Figure Vases: the Archaic Period, Thames and Hudson, Ltd. (New York, 1975), fig. 130.
  • Gabriele Pfister-Roesgen, Die etruskischen Spiegel des 5. Jhs. v. Chr., Peter Lang GmbH (Frankfurt am Main, 1975), p. 97.
  • Apollo (London, 1976), p. 367, Fig. 7.
  • David Soren, The Fogg Kleophrades Vase under the Ultraviolet Light, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1977), 228, pp. 30-41, figs. 1, 3-11.
  • George M. A. Hanfmann and David Gordon Mitten, "The Art of Classical Antiquity", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 362-369, fig. 7.
  • F. Brommer, Hephaistos: Der Schmiedegott in der Antiken Kunst, Verlag Philipp von Zabern (Mainz, 1978), 13, figs. 3-4.
  • Caroline Houser, Dionysos and His Circle: Ancient Through Modern, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1979), no. 4.
  • Kate Schefold, Die Gottersage in der klassischen und hellenistischen Kunst (Munich, 1981), pp. 128-129, figs. 162-163.
  • David Gordon Mitten and Amy Brauer, Dialogue with Antiquity, The Curatorial Achievement of George M. A. Hanfmann, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1982), p. 11, no. 16.
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), p. 102, no. 112, ill.
  • M. Maass and J.M. Snyder, Stringed Instruments of Ancient Greece (New Haven, 1989), p. 129, fig. 2.
  • Susanne Frank, Attische Kelchkratere: eine Untersuchung zum Zusammenspiel von Gefäßform und Bemalung (Frankfurt, 1990), Pl. 6.S
  • Oswyn Murray, ed., Sympotica, a Symposium on the Symposium (Oxford, 1990), Pl. 23
  • François Lissarrague, The Aesthetics of the Greek Banquet: Images of Wine and Ritual (Princeton, 1990), pp. 43-44, figs. 28a-b
  • W. D. Heilmeyer, Euphronios und seine Zeit, Kolloquium in Berlin 19./20. April 1991 anlässlich der Ausstellung Euphronios der Maler (Berlin, 1991), p. 63, fig. 10.
  • Heide Froning, Tonio Hölscher, and Harold Mielsch, ed., Kotinos, Festschrift für Erika Simon (Mainz, 1992), Pls. 29.3, 30.
  • James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p. 100-101, ill.
  • Thomas Carpenter, Dionysian Imagery in Fifth-Century Athens, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, 1997), p. 48, pl. 15a
  • Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
  • Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), Artemis (Zürich, Switzerland, 1999), Vol. 4, Hephaistos 159; Vol. 8, Silenoi 103.
  • Sheramy D. Bundrick, Music and Image in Classical Athens, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY, 2005), p. 110, fig. 64
  • Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum/Handbook (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008)
  • Stephen Fineberg, Hephaestus on Foot in the Ceramicus, Transactions of the American Philological Association, The American Philological Association (2009), vol. 139, no. 2 (2009), 275-324, fig. 10
  • Dionysos in Classical Athens: An Understanding through Images (Leiden, 2015), p. 41, fig. 17
  • Alexander Heinemann, Der Gott des Gelages: Dionysos, Satyrn und Mänaden auf attischem Trinkgeschirr des 5. Jahrhunderts v. Chr., De Gruyter (Berlin, 2016), 268, fig. 165.
  • Sara Chiarini, The So-called Nonsense Inscriptions on Ancient Greek Vases: Between Paideia and Paidia, Brill Academic Publishers (Leiden) (Leiden, The Netherlands, 2018), pp. 306-7

Exhibition History

  • Ancient Art in American Private Collections, Fogg Art Museum, 12/28/1954 - 02/15/1955
  • The Frederick M. Watkins Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/31/1973 - 03/14/1973
  • Dionysos and His Circle: Ancient through Modern, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 12/10/1979 - 02/10/1980
  • Dialogue with Antiquity: The Curatorial Achievement of George M.A. Hanfmann, Fogg Art Museum, 05/07/1982 - 06/26/1982
  • Re-View: S422 Ancient & Byzantine Art & Numismatics, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/12/2008 - 06/18/2011
  • HAA132e The Ideal of the Everyday in Greek Art (S427) Spring 2012, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2012 - 05/12/2012
  • 32Q: 3400 Greek, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project
  • Collection Highlights

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at