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A krater or crater (Greek: κρατήρ, kratēr, literally "mixing vessel") was a large two-handled shape of vase in Ancient Greek pottery and metalwork, mostly used for the mixing of wine with water.

At a Greek symposium, kraters were placed in the center of the room. They were quite large, so they were not easily portable when filled. Thus, the wine-water mixture would be withdrawn from the krater with other vessels, such as a kyathos (pl. kyathoi), an amphora (pl. amphorai),[1] or a kylix (pl. kylikes).[1] In fact, Homer's Odyssey[2] describes a steward drawing wine from a krater at a banquet and then running to and fro pouring the wine into guests' drinking cups. The modern Greek word now used for undiluted wine, krasi (κρασί), originates from the krasis (κράσις, i.e., mixing) of wine and water in kraters.[3]

Pottery kraters were glazed on the interior to make the surface of the clay more impervious for holding water, and possibly for aesthetic reasons, since the interior could easily be seen. The exterior of kraters often depicted scenes from Greek life, such as the Attic Late 1 Krater, which was made between 760 and 735 B.C.E. This object was found among other funeral objects, and its exterior depicted a funeral procession to the gravesite.[4]

These are among the largest of the kraters, supposedly developed by the potter Exekias in black-figure style, though in fact almost always seen in red. The lower body is shaped like the calyx of a flower, and the foot is stepped. The psykter-shaped vase fits inside it so well stylistically that it has been suggested that the two might have often been made as a set. It is always made with two robust upturned handles positioned on opposite sides of the lower body or "cul".[7]

This type of krater, defined by volute-shaped handles, was invented in Laconia in the early 6th century BC, then adopted by Attic potters. Its production was carried on by Greeks in Apulia until the end of the 4th century BC. Its shape and method of manufacture are similar to those of the column krater, but the handles are unique: to make each, the potter would have first made two side spirals ("volutes") as decorative disks, then attached a long thin slab of clay around them both forming a drum with flanged edges. This strip would then have been continued downward until the bottom of the handle where the potter would have cut a U-shaped arch in the clay before attaching the handle to the body of the vase.[8]

Bell kraters were first made in the early 5th century, which meant that it came later than the three other krater types This form of krater looks like an inverted bell with handles that are faced up. Bell kraters are red-figure and not black-figure like the other kraters.[9]

Ornamental stone kraters are known from Hellenistic times, the most famous being the Borghese Vase of Pentelic Marble and the Medici Vase, also of marble. After rediscovery of these pieces, imitations became a staple of garden decoration in the Baroque and Neoclassical periods. The French artist and landscape designer Hubert Robert included the Borghese Vase, both alone and together with other stone kraters, in several of his works.[12]

Monumental grave markers were first introduced during the Geometric period. They were large vases, often decorated with funerary representations. It was only in the Archaic period that stone sculptures were used as funerary monuments. On this magnificent krater, the main scene occupies the widest portion of the vase and shows the deceased laid upon a bier surrounded by members of his household and, at either side, mourners. For optimal clarity, the dead man is shown on his side, and the checkered shroud that would normally cover the body has been raised and regularized into a long rectangle with two projections. The zone below shows a procession of chariots and foot soldiers. The figures may refer to the military exploits of the deceased. Because hourglass shields and chariots played a more limited role at this time than in the earlier Bronze Age, the scene more likely evokes the glorious ancestry and traditions to which the dead man belonged.

krater n (definite singular krateret or kratret, indefinite plural krater or kratre, definite plural kratra or kratrene)

Before installing the Gela Krater at the Getty Villa, the Museum's conservation team collaborated with conservators from Agrigento's Museo Archeologico Regionale to construct a custom seismic isolation base and pedestal.When the krater returns to Sicily, it will be accompanied by its new pedestal and earthquake-resistant mount for display in its home museum.

The Euphronios (Sarpedon) krater is a red-figure calyx krater made in Athens circa 515 BC, signed by Euxitheos as potter and Euphronios as painter. It was bought by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1972 for the then record-breaking price of $1 million, and is now thought to have been excavated illegally in Italy in 1971. In 2006, the Metropolitan restored ownership of the krater to Italy.

The kraters were often a typical item that was produced during this time and periods that followed, especially when we see the symposium developing in the Archaic and Classical periods. Wine as well as drinking wine was a clear past time of the ancient world so it made sense as to why Kraters which were made to mix the water and wine was a typical item found.

The red figure calyx krater is representation of4th and 5th century BCE Greek vessels. A particularly beautiful example is the early 5th century BCE Attic red figure calyx krater by the Cleophrades Painter, currently located at the Louvre.[1] This Attic is generously adorned with figures encircling the ceramic that tells a story of a procession. The calyx krater has a wide foot, a short stem, and cupped body with two low rounded handles extending to the sides. The body of the vessel is wide and cylindrical with a slight flair at the top and a lip. It measures 42 centimeters in height and 49 in diameter.[2] The red figure style is on a black background and replaced the earlier black figure style entirely.[3] This prominent pottery medium was developed in Athens, though most came from the Region of Attica. Red figure is a more detail oriented style then black figure, where the original red clay shows through and the details are added in black glaze.

This Attic red figure calyx krater by the Cleophrades Painter is an exemplary piece of its time period. The subject matter and artistry is characteristic of the early 5th century BCE and could have belonged to a wide range of households with any number of functions.[6]Despite some exterior damage, this calyx krater is almost completely intact and represents the artistic style and beauty of its time, along with popular subject matter. The Greeks use of symbolic pictorial language allows the viewer even today to identify mythological characters without explanation.

The ancient Greeks always diluted their wine with at least an equal amount of water, mixing the two liquids in large vessels such as this krater. The expansive exterior surfaces of kraters allowed vase painters to depict complicated scenes with multiple figures. 59ce067264


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