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AN APULIAN RED-FIGURED BELL-KRATER
AN APULIAN RED-FIGURED BELL-KRATER

ATTRIBUTED TO THE TARPORLEY PAINTER, CIRCA 400-385 B.C.

Details
AN APULIAN RED-FIGURED BELL-KRATER
Attributed to the Tarporley Painter, Circa 400-385 B.C.
The obverse with the purification of Orestes by Apollo at Delphi, with Orestes kneeling on his right leg at the omphalos, depicted nude but for a chlamys over his left arm which billows behind, a sword dripping with blood clutched in his right hand, a scabbard in his outstretched left hand, gazing towards the piglet dangling from Apollo's extended right hand, the standing god depicted nude, holding a fluttering chlamys and laurel bough in his left arm, a laurel wreath in his hair, a bucranium above; the reverse with two standing draped youths, each holding a staff in his right hand, two fillets above; a band of meander and saltire-squares below the scenes, laurel below the rim, tongues around the handles
11½ in. (29.2 cm) high
Provenance
Macciolli Collection, Melbourne, 1984
BGM Collection, Melbourne, 1988-1994
Graham Geddes Collection, Melbourne, 1994
Literature
Trendall, "Two bell-kraters in Melbourne by the Tarporley Painter" in Studies Cambitoglou.
Trendall and Cambitoglou, Second Supplement to The Red-Figured Vases of Apulia, Part I, no. 3/4a.
Exhibited
On loan, La Trobe University, Melbourne, 1988-2002

Lot Essay

As the Erinyes, the Furies of his slain mother, Clytemnestra, are upon him, Orestes flees to Delphi, symbolized by the omphalos, to seek refuge at the Temple of Apollo. The god repels the hounding Furies by purifying Orestes with the blood of a piglet, thus cleansing him ritually of the murder.
Trendall states that this bell-krater is "the earliest South Italian vase to represent the purification of Orestes, as referred to by Aeschylus in Eumenides 283. It is, therefore, the precursor of the two vases by the Eumenides Painter which show the same subject and may have been influenced by its treatment on this vase."
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