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proche du Peintre de

Red-Figure Bell Krater: Nike Crowns a Victorious Athlete

Artist

proche du Peintre de
Active in Attica, Greece

Title

Red-Figure Bell Krater: Nike Crowns a Victorious Athlete

Date

1st third of 4th c. B.C.E.

Materials

Earthenware, painted decoration

Dimensions

24.7 x 26.7 x 24.6 cm

Credits

Purchase, inv. 1944.Cb.2

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

In Ancient Greece, the athletic body was an object of admiration, desire and even veneration. Probably starting from the sixth century B.C.E., athletes competed naked. Their strength, youthfulness and beauty were exalted through the words of poets such as Pindar. Their visual representations also came to embody an idealized, bodily manliness as well as ideals of the aristocratic elite. Victory in athletic contexts brought great status to the athlete, and was sometimes compared to the achievements of mythical heroes. Here, Nike (personification of Victory) crowns an athlete, who was victorious at the Panathenaic festival. Another youthful man brings the prize, an amphora full of oil, while figures in front of the athlete, possibly the god Hermes and the athlete’s trainer, observe the scene.

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