Red-figured plate, signed by Epiktetos as painter

Greek, about 520-500 BC
From Athens, Greece

An archer about to shoot

The painter of this plate was Epiktetos, who worked in both the black- and red-figure techniques. His painting is of an exceptionally high standard. He was particularly skilled in creating compositions that perfectly fill the circular tondo of a cup or plate. Here, the way the archer moves to the left, but looks back over his shoulder as he goes, gives the design both a tremendous sense of movement and a central balance and stability. The archer's bare feet tread the tondo border as though he were spinning in a wheel, while the positioning of bow, quiver and arrow help to complete the design. The painter's neatly-written signature to left and right of the archer adds to the decorative effect.

The archer's costume is similar to that of the archer on a plate signed by the painter Psiax (also in The British Museum), but more intricately patterned, and his cap suggests the influence of Persian rather than Scythian fashions.

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More information


J. Boardman, Athenian red figure vases: the (London, Thames and Hudson, 1975)


Diameter: 19.400 cm

Museum number

GR 1837.6-9.59 (Vase E 135)



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