The Chimera on a red-figure Apulian plate

The Chimera on a red-figure Apulian plate, c. 350–340 BC

The red-figure Apulian plate depicting the Chimera is an ancient Greek pottery piece dating back to around 350-340 BC, which is now held at the Musée du Louvre in Paris (Musée du Louvre, Paris). The plate was created using the red-figure technique, where the figures are left in the natural reddish color of the clay while the background is painted black.

The Chimera is a mythical creature with the body of a lion, the head of a goat arising from its back, and a serpent for a tail. Ancient Greek poet Homer describes the Chimera as a powerful beast with a powerful breath in the form of a burning flame that could incinerate the target within seconds. It is famously known for being slain by the hero Bellerophon with the help of the winged horse Pegasus.

The plate is considered a significant piece of ancient Greek pottery due to its intricate design, which showcases the skill of the artist. The Chimera is depicted with intricate details, such as the scales on its tail and the fur on its body. The plate also features other mythological creatures, such as a sphinx and a griffin.