Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter

Greek, about 580 BC
Made in Athens, Greece

The wedding procession of Peleus and Thetis

The animal friezes on this black-figured bowl recall contemporary Corinthian vase paintings. However, the figure scene that occupies the highest register shows the new direction in which Athenian vase painting was moving. It shows gods, goddesses, nymphs and others processing to the house of the hero Peleus to celebrate his wedding to the beautiful sea-nymph Thetis. Thetis had many suitors, including several of the gods themselves, but when they learned of a prophecy that the son of Thetis would be greater than his father, the gods arranged that she should marry Peleus. Their son was to be Achilles, the greatest of the Greeks to fight at Troy.

Peleus stands before the doors of his house to greet his guests, who arrive either on foot or by chariot. Among the first is the wine god Dionysos, who carries a vine branch laden with grapes, symbolizing the wine that will be drunk at the wedding feast, perhaps mixed in a bowl of this shape. The names of the guests are written neatly alongside. Between the columns of the house, Sophilos has signed the vase 'Sophilos painted me'. Sophilos is the first Greek vase painter whose name we know.

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Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter

Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter

  • Detail

    Detail

  • Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter

    Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand, signed by Sophilos as painter

 

More information

Bibliography

L. Burn, The British Museum book of Gre (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

D. Williams, 'Sophilos in the British Museum' in Greek Vases in the J.Paul Gett (Malibu, 1983)

D. Williams, Greek vases (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)

Dimensions

Height: 71.000 cm
Height: 71.000 cm

Museum number

GR 1971.11-1.1

GAA5991

Location

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