Kleophon Painter - Themes - Warriors

Warriors

The third and final main theme found in the Kleophon Painter’s works is the theme of warriors. The warriors are usually shown leaving their families or coming home, rarely are they seen in battle. It seems that the Kleophon Painter liked to make paintings that would have had an upper class female target market. This can be seen by the location that most of the vases were discovered in as well as the themes that he is known for painting. The only time warriors are seen is when they are around the home, either departing or returning. This indicates that the women in the house would have these vases around as reminders of their loved ones.

An excellent example of a painting of a departing warrior is found on attic red vase number 215168. This is a Bell Krater that was discovered in South Italy. It is currently located in the Antikensammlungen in Munich, Germany. The date range, as with almost all other Kleophon Painter vases, is 450 to 400 BCE. This Krater was attributed by Beazley. The Krater has a leaf pattern wrapped around the top of it with lines bordering the top and bottom of the pattern. There are tongue patterns wrapped around the part of the Krater where the handle meets the Krater at both connecting points on both handles. The rest of both handles are painted black. At the bottom of the Krater there is a meander pattern interrupted every third block with a saltire pattern. This pattern is also bordered on both top and bottom with a solid line. The scene on side A shows the warrior flanked by two other figures; an old man who appears to be handing the warrior his helmet, and a woman who is seen holding the warrior’s shield. The old man and the woman are both wearing robes while the warrior is depicted nude. The shield has a dot in the center with thirteen prongs coming out away from the dot and coming to a point at varying lengths within the shield itself. The warrior is wearing nothing but his sheath with his sword in it, and a headband. His robe is draped over his left arm which is holding his spear. Side B shows three youths all wearing robes. The eyes, again, are all triangular in shape. The youth to the far right has his right hand up as if to be telling the other two youths to stop or slow down. He is facing to the left (as you look at the vase) while the other two are facing back at him. All three have very similar, almost identical faces. They all have on the same style robes and are wearing a thin headband covered somewhat by their hair.

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