The "Kleophrades Painter" (or Cleophrades Painter) is the name given to an anonymous Athenian vase painter who flourished between about 505 BC and 475 BC, whose work is considered to be amongst the finest of the red figure style. The appellation was given him by classicist John Beazley in 1910, who identified the work of this artist on a cup by the potter Kleophrades, now in Paris. None of his works are signed, but for some time it was believed that his name was Epiktetos, when a signed pelike at the Berlin Antikenmuseen was attributed to him. This vase bears two inscriptions claiming "Epiktetos made me", and since there was another vase painter by that name but with a distinctly different style known to have been working in Athens at roughly the same point in time, for some time academic literature referred to the Kleophrades Painter as "Epiktetos II". In 1981, however, John Boardman demonstrated that the signature on the vase was a modern forgery and the Kleophrades Painter returned to anonymity.
Dionysus with a crown of ivy and a panther skin , Kleophrades Painter
Beazley attributed 113 vessels in red figure style to the Kleophrades Painter, as well as 21 black figure pieces. Since then, another 22 red figure attributions have been made; some identifications, both by Beazley and by later scholars, are somewhat controversial. Most of his work was done on large vessels, calyxes and amphorae, but painting on a great variety of pot types has been attributed to him. His early work is strongly reminiscent of Euthymides, to the point where it is virtually certain that he was one of that painter's students.
The Kleophrades Painter's style is praised for the quality of the drafting, as well as for the vigorous, robust, and well-proportioned figures that he depicted. His influence has been seen in the work of the Boot Painter and the Troilos Painter. In this latter case, the two artists have decorated vessels apparently by the same potter produced at roughly the same time, making it appear likely that they may have been working in the same workshop.