O r e s t e s a t D e l p h i
Orestes is seen in the center, kneeling on an omphalos. Two spears rest against his left shoulder, and a drawn sword is clutched in his right hand. He wears sandals and a cape decorated with stars and a wide black border.
His head is turned left to look up at Athena, who stands resting her bare left foot on a column-base, gazing at him with an air of compassion, her right hand resting on her upright spear. She is in full panoply, wearing a crested helmet with two tall plumes and the aegis over elaborate drapery.
The huge Delphic tripod is behind Orestes, and to his right is Apollo himself, wearing a laurel wreath, a bracelet and elaborate sandals; there is a beaded band around his thigh, and a similar band worn diagonally across his chest. He holds a piece of drapery between his legs.
To the right and partially hidden behind Apollo is a laurel-tree with fillets and two votive tablets hanging in its branches.
On the far right, a Fury in hunting costume is squeezed into the picture beside Apollo. Her wings rise up behind her and she holds a large snake in her left hand. Above the tripod is the bust on another Fury, snakes hissing in her hair and round her shoulders. She looks down malevolently in the direction of Apollo, who turns to face the other Fury.
In the corners above are the busts of a woman wearing a crown with a veil, possibly Leto, and of a youth with pilos and spear, probably Pylades. The sun is depicted at the top, above Apollo.
Late Classical Bell krater, H 56.5; D 53
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Copyright ©1998-2000 Roy George