Krater from Paestum
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Krater from Paestum

360-330 BC
painted ceramic
height cm 37
cat. 17106

A mythological parody is shown in this krater painted by Assteas, a painter of Paestum who worked around 360-330 BC: Zeus courts Alcmena, wife of Amphitryon, before the eyes of Hermes. The production of the ceramists of Paestum took strong inspiration from the Italiot theatrical world. The grotesque headdresses of the comic actors portrayed here are typical of the people's taste for Phliacical comedy (from Phliax, figure of the Dionysian train), that flourished in Magna Grecia during the 4th and 3rd cent. BC. Our painter signs six vases, while others, like the Vatican example, are attributed to him on the basis of technical and stylistic analogies.