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Euphronios Krater, Hermes (Psychopompos) in the Middle with the twin brothers Thanatos and Hypnos (Death and Sleep) moving Sarpedon, the son of Zeus to Hades the world of the dead. Calyx-krater, ca. 515 BC; Archaic; red-figure, Metropolitan Museum of Art Signed by Euxitheos, as potter; Signed by Euphronios, as painter, Greek, Attic ( Etruscan Sculpture )

Euphronios was a Greek painter and potter of red-figure vases, active in Athens between 520 and 470 BC, the time of the Persian Wars. Very little is known about his life other than what can be derived from the vases he signed (a total of eighteen survive). Early in his career, Euphronios was apparently one of the leading vase-painters in Athens, and is considered among the first notable contributors to the red-figure technique. He is particularly admired for his use of foreshortening. His later vases he signed as a potter, rather than as a painter, and they are painted by other major vase-painters of the period.

The piece shown here, one of Euphonios's finest surviving kraters, has been in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1972, but due to a legal investigation of Robert Hecht, the dealer from whom the Met bought it, the New York Times reports that the museum has agreed to return it to the Italian government, which has claimed ownership for more than 30 years.


  • Kennedy, Randy, "Met Sending Vase to Italy, Ending 30-Year Dispute," The New York Times February 2, 2006.


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