Griechische Kunst: Der François Krater
A major monument in the history of Greek pottery, the François Vase is a large (66 cm) volute krater in a black-figure design, signed both by the potter, Ergotimos, and the painter, Kleitias. The Attic work has been dated to 570 BC. In 1900, a disgruntled museum guard threw a stool at the case and smashed the François Vase to 638 pieces! It was restored in by Pietro Zei, incorporating the Strozzi fragment, but missing another piece which had been stolen. That piece was returned in 1904. A new reconstruction was performed in 1973. Today the krater is located in the Florence Archaeological Museum. From an Information about Alessandro François (1796 Florence Italy – 1857 Florence Italy), the discoverer of this krater.
The François volute krater, potted by Ergotimos, painted by Kleitias, archaic ancient Greek Art, ca. 570 BC, Museo Archeologico, Florence. The main subject depicted on the François Vase is the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Additional views and details: The Calydonian boar hunt and the chariot race for Patroclos, a fountain house, other side, arriving boat with Athenians and dancers, centauromachy, return of Hephaistos to Olympus, handle with Artemis, Achilles and Ajax
Phaidimos jumping over board of a triakonter ship, another swims to the beach.
Top Row: Crane Dance (Geranos) of Theseus and the Athenian youths on their escape from Crete. According to Plutarch, Theseus after having killed the Minotaur in the Labyrinth of Knossos, on his way back to Athens, he stopped at Delos. There, he offered a sacrifice to the goddess Aphrodite and he danced around the altar. This dance included serpentine movements, imitating the movements of Theseus inside the Labyrinth. The dance is mentioned by Homer in the Iliad. Some experts say that the place of the dance shown here was on Crete and not Delos.
Bottow Row: Battle between Lapiths and Centaurs. On the left 3 centaurs, Hylaios, Agrios and Hasbolos against the warrior Kaineus. In the middle the centaur Petraios against the Lapith Hoplon. On the right side the centaur Melanchites fighting with rocks against a Lapith, while another centaur on the groud probably dead.
Bottom Row: Chariot race in the funeral games for Patroklos. In the center we can read clear the name of Damasippos (a brother in law of Odysseus)
Hephaistos' trimphant return to Olymp, riding on a donkey and accompanied by silenoi or satyrs, half man, half goat creatures. Here one shown carrying a wineskin on his back. Note the written labels, early Greek could be written left to right or right to left. When Hephaistos was banished from the Olymp after some problems with Hera he was so angry that he sent to his mother Hera a golden throne, which however trapped her as soon as she sat in it. Only when Dionysos made him drunk he accepted to release Hera. As a gift he was allowed to marry Aphrodite and to return to the Olymp.
Pausanias abour another image of Artemis: On what account Artemis has wings on her shoulders I do not know; in her right hand she grips a leopard, in her left a lion.
I begin here with a vase of Attic manufacture, decorated, as an inscription on it shows, by Clitias, but commonly called from its finder the Francois vase. It may be assigned to the first half of the sixth century, and probably to somewhere near the beginning of that period. It is an early specimen of the class of black-figured vases, as they are called. The propriety of the name is obvious from the illustration. The objects represented were painted in black varnish upon the reddish clay, and the vase was then fired. Subsequently anatomical details, patterns of garments, and so on were indicated by means of lines cut through the varnish with a sharp instrument. Moreover, the exposed parts of the female figures--faces, hands, arms, and feet--were covered with white paint, this being the regular method in the black-figured style of distinguishing the flesh of female from that of male figures.
For more images, details and informations see: The Francois Vase (from Perseus)