Volute-Krater with Story of Melanippe

11008179-1994_001_DApa_ARC.tif

Title

Volute-Krater with Story of Melanippe

Keywords

Ceramic, clay, krater, pottery, vessel

Date

ca. 330 - 320 BC

Context

Late Classical
Italy
Greek, Apulian

Medium/Dimensions

Ceramic
31 11/16 x 15 5/8 in. (80.5 x 39.7 cm)

Object Number

1994.001

Description

It is possible that performances of a tragedy by the Athenian dramatist Euripides inspired the picture on this krater. His play Melanippe the Wise survives today only in fragments, but from an ancient summary of the plot we are able to reconstruct the story. Here, the drama unfolds in the lower register, with the protagonists named by inscriptions, while the gods look down from Olympus above.

According to myth, Melanippe bore twin sons to Poseidon while her father Aiolos was in exile. On orders from Poseidon, and anticipating her father's return, she exposed the children in a cow shed, where they were discovered by a shepherd and brought to her father and grandfather, Hellen. Thinking these to be "cow born monsters", they ordered the infants to be burned and instructed Melanippe to prepare the funeral shrouds. Through her powers of persuasion, however, Melanippe was able to convince her father that the children were not monsters, and their lives were thus spared.

At center, an elderly man, Boter (shepherd), emerges from an orchard carrying two newborns (note the pointed heads) wrapped in a blanket, which he presents to Hellen. At right, an old woman, Trophos (nurse), comforts the distressed heroine Melanippe. On the other side stands Aiolos, her father, who carries a scepter to denote his kingship. Behind him is Kretheus (Melanippe's half brother) who crowns a mare, possibly a reference to Melanippe's mother, Hippe. In the upper register, Poseidon, above Melanippe at right, gestures angrily to Aphrodite and Eros. Athena stands at the center, with Apollo and Artemis beyond.

Credit Line

Carlos Collection of Ancient Art

Exhibits/Publications

Le Peintre de Darius et son milieu, Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva, 1986|
The Art of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Michael C. Carlos Museum, November 8, 1997 - January 4, 1998|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2004 - January 2011|
Monsters, Demons, & Winged Beasts: Composite Creatures in the Ancient World, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 5 - June 19, 2011|
MCCM Permanent Collection Galleries, June 20, 2011 - August 26, 2013|
MCCM Permanent Collection Gallery, October 2, 2013 - May 2014|
Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult, and Daily Life, Tampa Museum of Art, June 2014 - November 30, 2014|
MCCM Permanent Collection Galleries, February 2, 2015 - Present
C. Aellen, Alexander Cambitoglou, and J.Chamay, "Le peintre de Darius et son milieu: vases grecs de l'Italie meridionale, Hellas et Roma, IV, Geneva 1986," Bollettino d'Arte 47 (1988): 91-94, plate 24.|
Karl Scheflold and Franz Jung, Die Urkonige, Perseus, Bellerophon, Herakles, und Theseus in der klassischen und hellenistischen Kunst (Munich: Hirmer, 1988), 47.|
A.D.Trendall, Red Figure Vases of South Italy and Sicily: A Handbook (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1989), 261, figure 210.|
Anneliese Kossatz-Deissmann, "Die Ubergrabe des Dionysoskindes in der Unteritalischen Vasenmalere," in Eumousia: Ceramic and Iconographic Studies in Honour of Alexander Cambitoglou, ed. Alexander Cambitoglou et al. (Sydney: Meditarch, 1990), 203-10.|
MCCM Newsletter, Spring 1994.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum Handbook (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 1996), 62.|
MCCM Newsletter, December 2004 - February 2005.|
Jasper Gaunt, "New Galleries of Greek & Roman Art at Emory University: The Michael C. Carlos Museum," Minerva 16 (2005): 13-17.|
Veronique Dasen, Jumeaux, jumelles dans l'antiquite Grecque et Romaine (Kilchberg: Akanthus, 2005), cover.|
Oliver Taplin, Pots & Plays: Interactions between Tragedy and Greek Vase-Painting of the Fourth Century B.C. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), 68, 193-96.|
John H. Oakley, "Child Heroes in Greek Art," in Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece, ed. Sabine Albersmeier (Baltimore: The Walters Art Museum, 2009), 71.|
John H. Oakley, "State of the Discipline: Greek Vase Painting," American Journal of Archaeology 113 (2009): 619, figure 18.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 51.|
Peter Bing, "Afterlives of A Tragic Poet: Anecdote, Image and Hypothesis in the Hellenistic Reception of Euripides," Antike und Abendland 57 (2011): 1-17.|
Judith Evans Grubbs, et al., The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), cover image.|
Seth D. Pevnick, et al., Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult, and Daily Life (Tampa: Tampa Museum of Art in association with D. Giles Limited, 2014), 129, Catalogue 22.|
Vesa Vahtikari, Tragedy and Performaces outside Athens in the Late Fifth and the Fouth Centuries BC (Helsinki: Foundation of the Finnish Institute at Athens, 2014), plate VI.2.|
Ian McPhee, ed., Myth, Drama and Style in South Italian Vase-Painting: Selected Papers by A.D. Trendall (Uppsala: Astroms forlag, 2016), 72-76, 100-105.|
John H. Oakley, "Inscriptions on Apulian Red-Figure Vases: A Survey," in Epigraphy of Art: Ancient Greek Vase-Inscriptions and Vase-Paintings, ed. Dimitrios Yatromanolakis (Oxford: Archaeopress Publishing, Ltd., 2016), 130, figure 8.|
Fay Glinister, "Ritual and Meaning: Contextualising Votive Terracotta Infants in Hellenistic Italy," in Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives: Past, Present and Future (New York: Routledge, 2017), 143, figure 7.2.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2005.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

Yes

Citation

“Volute-Krater with Story of Melanippe,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed June 22, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7864.

Social Bookmarking

Embed

Copy the code below into your web page