South Italian - Paestan

Python's Alkmene

Python's Alkmene bell-crater

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Photograph: M. Tiverios, Elliniki Techni

Museum: London, British Museum
Size: 56.5cm (bell-crater)
Function: ?
Technique: red-figure with modest amounts of white and red paint
Style: South Italian, Paestan
Subject: Alkmene sits on a pyre being lit by Amphitryon and Antenor. She gestures to Zeus who has throw his thunderbolts and sent clouds to 'rain on' the pyre. The clouds pour water. On the far right Eos watches.
Date: later 4th c.
Analysis: the elaborate costumes and a near loggia effect of gods and personifications above suggest a scene from the theatre. Euripides wrote about Alkmene giving birth to Herakles.