Kleophrades Painter Hydria

Kleophrades Painter Hydria
Was made between 500—480BC.
Is approximately 42cm in height.
Potter: Kleophrades
Painter: ‘Kleophrades Painter’
• The Kleophrades painter remained anonymous for a long time,
even being falsely identified as the painter Epiktetos. He is
thought to be the son of potter Amasis and the pupil of
Euthymides, as his a good deal of his early work greatly implies.
The Kleophrades painter had disciples himself, including the
Berlin Painter and the Boot Painter. Overall the Kleophrades
painter is recognized as one of the greatest pot painters in the
late Archaic period in Athens.
• The Kleophrades Painter Hydria
was used for carrying water. It
has three handles.
• The red figure technique was
• The vase shape is perfect for
carrying, storing and pouring
• Hydria shape.
• The scenes that encircle the vase depict the sacking of Troy,
the rape of Cassandra, Aeneas’ escape from his father from
whence he shall found a new Troy. The Greeks are illustrated
to be savage and barbaric, showing no remorse (ironically
painted whilst Athens was in the process of falling to ruin)
• Side A Overview:
• New advances on spatial representation as the ornamentation
is all painted around the neck and shoud\lder of the vase.
• There is an increase in the overlapping of figures present.
• The Kleophrades Painter has employed the three quarter
technique to give a unique perspective of the inside of the
warrior’s shield while his left thigh and foot have been
foreshortened in their frontal pose… again, the proportions are
not perfect.
• To the far right of this pair is a triangle-shaped assemble
intentionally removed from the warzone so that it appears to
join in both halves of the narrative together.
• The two armed and bearded soldiers are contrasted to the
vulnerable old woman frightened on the ground.
• Side B Overview
• The Kleophrades Painter has again decided to foreshortening
when painting Cassandra’s leg.
• Aeneas is painted from the rear view and beside him is his
young son Ascanius.
The Rape of Cassandra
• The rape of Cassandra by Ajax, a Greek warrior, son
of Oileus. He steps over a Trojan soldier whom is
already dead by his hand. To their right is a statue of
Athena Palladium, from which Cassandra is attached
to, seeking strength and hope as Ajax nears her.
• Aeneas Flees the Devastated City of Troy
• Aeneas is the middle figure whose back is facing us: he is
supporting the weight of his elderly father Anchises. To
Aeneas’ left is a smaller man, his son Ascanius, who rather
than be depicted as a child, Kleophrades has chosen to
paint him as a young adult. Interesting to note is how both
Aeneas’ father and son seem to be looking back from
whence they came, as in fear of the massacre the Greeks
were inflicting upon Troy’s walls.
• The next scene shows two women crouching, their heads down
and positions defensive. One woman is underneath a heavily
bent palm tree (battered to represent the destruction that was
occurring) and gripping her hair out in fit of anguish. The
second Trojan woman sits opposite, also horrified, behind her
a statue of Athena (called the Palladium, considered the most
sacred item in Troy).
The Sack of Troy and Death of
• The scene: The blood-splattered King Priam sits on the
altar, the limp corpse of his grandson Astyanax, son of
Hector, laid across his lap. Priam is depicted as an elderly
gentleman with a bald head and a considerable 5’o clock
shadow. He cowers his head with his hands in a futile
gesture to ward off the fatal blow inevitably coming from
Neoptolemus, son of Achilles. Unusually Neoptolemus
has been presented from the rear with his head and left leg
in profile. He is dressed in full battle armour, posed with
his huge sword, called the Machaira. The Kleophrades
Painter has gone into considerable detail when painting his
armour. A dead Trojan soldier lies at his feet, a disturbing
presence. The painter is illustrating the immense cruelty
that took place in Troy, not hesitating to include gore in
his depictions of slaughter.
The Heroism of a Trojan Woman
• An armed Greek warrior crouches behind his shield as he is
attacked by a furious Trojan woman with a large pestle or a
chair leg, the use of a domestic object suggesting she is
desperate, but courageous. The painter has used the threequarter technique to give a viewpoint of the inside of the
warrior’s shield, in which the painter has gone into elaborate
• The courage of an everyday Trojan woman against a trained
and likely highly skilled soldier is emphasized by the choice to
have her towering over him, standing taller and showing no
mercy, which conveys one of the many moods of the vase
effectively at this juncture.
• Scene painted on the double curve of the shoulder and the
neck of the vase (Death of Priam and the sack of Troy)
• This is quite a difficult surface to paint on, reflecting his
interests in triangles.
• Shape of the vase = individual scenes are organised in
triangles, which are framed by positions of bodies or objects
such as trees or statues.
• Each group is self contained, however links to the overall
theme of the vase and has links to all other scenes.
• The two ends of the frieze both show shields. Also, both end
scenes are linked thematically by hope, courage and liberation
from the horror of war.
• The Kleophrades Painter continued to use incision in
his paintings, most often to detail hair but also to
highlight other features of the figures involved.
• A wide variety of poses were used, and new
perspectives of armour and shields offered a more in
depth insight into the warzone.
• He was also innovative when painting realistic facial
features such as facial hair; eyes were painted open at
the inner corner with pupils painted forward, rather
than the common frontal eyes in a profile face.
• A full S-curve was used for the nostrils and he
outlined the lips to give the effect of making them
appear fuller.
• Stylistically, Kleophrades’ vases were luxurious and
had clear composition. Regarded as one of the best
red-figure decorators, he sometimes painted in blackfigure, but was a follower of red-figure decorators
(the Pioneer group). He shared their interests in
innovations and vase decoration.
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