The François Vase: A compendium of the Greek Myths
The François Vase, a milestone in the development of Greek pottery, is a large volute black-figured krater. Kleitias and Ergotimos signed this masterwork, respectively, as painter and as potter.
More than 200 figures are depicted on the krater surface; they are arranged inside five registers and summarize some of the most important Greek mythological themes. Almost all of the figures are identified by inscriptions allowing an easy reading of the painted scenes.
The 1st uppermost frieze depicts: side A) the myth of Meleager and the Calydonian boar hunt; side B) the return from Crete of the eleven Athenian youths rescued by Theseus.
The 2nd frieze shows: side A, Patroclus’ funerary games; side B, the battle of Lapiths and centaurs.
The 3rd frieze, perhaps the most important one, covers both the sides A) and B), and describes the procession of the gods to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.
The 4th frieze depicts: side A) Achilles’ ambush on Troilus outside the gates of Troy; side B) Hephaestus’ return to the Olympus.
The 5th frieze is decorated with mythical creatures and lions and panthers attacking bull, deer and boar.
On the foot of the vessel, on both sides, there is a depiction of the battle between the Pygmies and the cranes.
The fields on the inner sides of the handles above the rim of the pot feature a Gorgon in motion; outside the so-called Mistress of Animals above a vignette showing Ajax carrying the dead Achilles.

Unfortunately the lighting system around the krater is weak and not homogeneously distributed; the light gradient on its surface is really sharp and doesn’t allow to take good pictures. I had to use very high ISO values and the noise is really disturbing …
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