Diameter: 19.400 cm
GR 1837.6-9.59 (Vase E 135)
Room 14: Greek vases
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.
J. Boardman, Athenian red figure vases: the (London, Thames and Hudson, 1975)