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Feb. 11 Art Minute: Greek (made in Centuripe in Sicily), Krater and Lid

Art Minute, Art of the Week, toledo museum of art
Greek (made in Centuripe in Sicily) Krater and Lid. Wheel-thrown earthenware, with molded, painted, and gilded decoration, 300–200 BCE. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1972.56a–b

The scene painted on the side of this vessel shows gifts being received by a bride. She wears elaborate jewelry and is accompanied by two women holding a fan and a parasol. The head and shoulders of a woman painted on the lid may represent an idealized portrait of the bride or of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. 

The fragile pastel colors—pink, blue, yellow, and green—and gilded details were painted after the vase was fired and survive only because the vase was made as a tomb offering. The ancient Greeks often buried wedding regalia and jewelry with girls and young women who died before marriage. 

This work is currently on view in the Classic Court (Gallery 02) at the Toledo Museum of Art.