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Fish Plate

A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.


350-325 BCE


Attributed to the Hippocamp Group
Greek; Canosa, Apulia, Italy

About this artwork

This footed plate was made to serve succulent morsels of grilled seafood, like the fish that are painted on its surface. Greece and Italy are peninsulas projecting into seas brimming with marine life. A primary source of protein, seafood was a basic staple of the ancient Mediterranean diet; it remains so today. Keen observers of their subjects, ancient vase painters so accurately captured the shapes and markings of the fish they depicted that it is possible to identify most of them by species. On this example, three slightly different, pleasingly plump bream with bright white details appear to swim after one another. A running wave pattern around the central concavity, with a gently sloped floor for collecting juices or serving sauces, recalls the sea, the source of the bounty.


On View, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Fish Plate


Canosa di Puglia


350 BCE–325 BCE


terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique


5 × 21.5 × 21.5 cm (2 × 8 1/2 × 8 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Dickinson Sae Jin Vermeule

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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