Calyx-Krater : Herakles in the garden of the Hesperides
Exports of Athenian ceramics to northern Greece, which began in the 5th century BC, continued throughout the following century. This accounts for the discovery of a number of Attic vases in Boeotia, notably in Tanagra.
Based on these discoveries, the most popular type of vase in Boeotia was the chalice-shaped crater, which has a more slender form than in the previous century. The popularity of this shape is perhaps associated with local cult practices.
In the figurative repertoire, Herakles holds a privileged position alongside Dionysos, but he is quite different from the hero of the classical era. He is rarely depicted performing his labours, with the exception of his stay in the garden of the Hesperides. However, this episode is depicted in a totally new light. The hero no longer fights the snake guarding the tree with the golden apples or carries the world on his shoulders in place of Atlas. A younger, clean-shaven, naked Herakles , simply bearing on his head the Nemean lion skin, sits peacefully in a luxuriant garden prefiguring the Elysian Fields, watching the golden apples which the Hesperides will bring him, symbolising immortality, being picked.