Pottery: red-figured kylix. Interior: Within a thin red circle, a youth wearing a vine wreath and mantle decorated with circles over his shoulders (incorrectly drawn), holding keras in right, and wineskin in left, runs to right looking back: his feet rest on the circle. In field, imitation inscriptions. Around the lip, a border of large palmettes. Exterior: (a) Birth of Athene. Near the centre, beside an Ionic column, Zeus seated to left, bearded and with long tresses, wreathed, long chiton and himation, in left a sceptre, in right a thunderbolt; his seat is an ordinary chair, with the back terminating at the top in a swan's neck curved downwards. From his head springs Athene to left, showing only from the breast upward, with helmet, chiton, and himation, shield with device of a Gorgoneion in outline, half seen, brandishing spear in right hand. Behind the chair stands Hephaistos (beardless, the upper part of his head missing) in himation, with axe (head missing) over left shoulder, laying his right on the right shoulder of Zeus. Behind him, a woman in chiton and himation, sitting on a square base to right, with left hand clenched on her breast: her head is lost, but had been turned round towards the central scene. On the extreme right a woman in chiton and himation over the back of her head dances forward, looking back, as if towards the scene on the other side of the vase; her arms are lost. In front of Zeus stand two women, Eileithyise, in the characteristic attitude, with outstretched hands: they have long himation, chiton and fillet; the one on left has long sleeves and hair looped up. Behind them is Ares, bearded, seated on a square base facing Zeus, in helmet tilted back and himation, holding out his right and resting left on a spear. Behind him, Aphrodite, seated on an ocladias (stool), in a long chiton, drawing forward with her left the edge of her himation, which covers the back of her head. On extreme left stands a woman in long chiton and himation, hair looped up with fillet, raising with her left the skirt of her dress. All the dresses are embroidered with circles, except that of the right-hand figure, which has crosses. In the field, imitation inscriptions. (b) Peleus seizing Thetis: Peleus to right, beardless, long hair looped up and wreathed, stoops forward and seizes Thetis round the waist with both arms, his right hand grasping his left wrist. Thetis moves to right looking back, and raising both arms; she wears a long chiton with sleeves, and her hair is looped up with a fillet (front part of face missing): one of her transformations is indicated by a panther (lower part of body lost) which stands to right on the back of Peleus, facing to front. On either side two Nereids in long chiton and himation, hair looped up with fillet, flee away in archaic running attitude, with arms extended: the two on left look back, the left hand one raising the edge of her skirt. The dresses throughout are embroidered with circles. In the field, imitation inscriptions. The figure of Peleus is disproportionately large. Above the exterior scene a thin red line is left, below which a black line has been drawn, which in a cuts the top of the figures. Below, a band of net pattern. Outline of hair incised and edged with dots against the flesh. Purple used for inscriptions and headdresses, except the wreath of Peleus, which is incised. No light inner markings. The eye of Zeus is of the dotted circle type, with eyelashes drawn on both upper and lower lids. In indicating the folds of the drapery a profuse use is made of hard parallel lines, which form a characteristic feature of the vase.
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Using this image
To license images for charged-for journals and publications, and other commercial uses, please contact British Museum Images.
Contact BM images
The image will be released to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. You can read more about the British Museum and Creative Commons here.
Download this image
If you cannot see an image that you want on the British Museum website, you can order new photography from us.
Order new image