- Museum number
Pottery: red-figured cup.
INTERIOR: symposium - two youths share a couch, a boy. The youths recline to the left. The one on the left of the couch turns his head to the right. He holds a black skyphos in his left hand and holds up his empty right hand as if playing kottabos. The youth on the right holds a black skyphos with a reserved band at handle level in his left hand and holds out a cup by one
handle in his right, ready to flick it in the game of kottabos. His mouth is open. Both youths wear a dotted himation with a black border and have a red band with five large leaves at the front in their hair; they recline against cushions decorated with groups of three stripes separated by rows of dots. The couch's legs are cut off by the border, as are the first youth's legs. Below the couch is a three-legged table with two spare red fillets with leaves trailing from it. In front of the table a naked boy moves to the right, but turns his head back to the left.
Border: stopt maeander units (four-stroke, anticlockwise).
Side A (upper): a man and four youths, one with his hand behind his head. Each of the symposiasts wears a dotted himation with a black border and a red apicate fillet in his hair and reclines against a cushion decorated with groups of three stripes separated by a row of dots. The youth on the left turns his head to the right as he holds a cup up in his right hand by one handle for a kottabos throw; his left arm is stretched out to the right. His lower left leg is tucked under so that only the top of the thigh is shown under the drapery. The second youth holds up a cup in his right hand in a similar fashion, but holds a black skyphos in his left hand close against his chest. Behind him is a food basket hanging from red ties and, beyond, a spotted flute-case. The youth in the centre tilts his head back and wraps his right arm round it, as he sings. In his left hand he holds against his chest a black skyphos with a reserved band at handle level. Behind him is a plain stick. On the right is a bearded man who holds out a cup in his right hand by its handle for kottabos, as he turns his head back to the right. Above him a small cup (foot black; perhaps a stemless cup), seen from underneath, is hanging on the wall. On the far right is a youth holding in his left hand a black skyphos with a reserved band at handle level. Behind him a food basket hangs from red ties. The symposiasts seem to divide into two pairs flanking the central singer.
Side Β (upper): a man and four youths. On the far left a youth holds a cup up by its handle in his right hand for a kottabos throw and a black skyphos with a reserved band at handle level in his left against his chest. Behind him is a plain stick. Next is a bearded man who turns his head back to the right, as he holds a black skyphos in his left hand. Behind him is a knotty stick. In the centre is a youth who holds a cup up by its handle in his right hand for a kottabos throw. His left arm is missing below the elbow: it must have been raised at right angles. His left knee, covered in drapery, is brought round to the right in a strongly foreshortened view. Behind him there was a small cup hung on the wall, seen from underneath (as on side A; only the edge of it is preserved). On the right a youth turns back to the right as he holds a cup up by one handle in his right hand for a kottabos throw. On the far right a youth also holds a cup up in his right hand by one handle for a kottabos throw, as he grips in his left hand a black skyphos with a reserved band at handle level (the base of the skyphos and part of his hand and drapery are missing). Behind him hangs a food basket. Nonsense inscriptions.
Ground line: a frieze of silhouette vessels set between two black lines (a glaux, three skyphoi, two oinochoai resting on their sides, a kantharos of Sotadean type and three pairs of boots).
Relief line contour throughout (except hair); dilute glaze for minor interior markings; thick reserved line inside lip, thin outside; added red for inscriptions.
- Production date
Diameter: 14.50 centimetres (of exterior ground line)
Diameter: 12.40 centimetres (of foot plate)
Diameter: 18.60 centimetres (of tondo)
Height: 13 centimetres
Width: 40.80 centimetres
Depth: 33 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- CVA British Museum 9
Bibliography: Cabinet Durand, lot 809; Murray DGV no. 48; Hartwig Μ 330, 688 no. 26; VA 96 no. 26, fig. 64 (I); Hoppin i 133 no. 64; Tonks Brygos 109 no. 20, AV 191, 40; ARV 277, 71; ARV2 421, 78.
Given by Hartwig and Murray to Brygos, attributed by Beazley to his Painter of the Paris Gigantomachy.
On the Painter of the Paris Gigantomachy see, in addition to Beazley's lists, his VA 94-6 and D. von Bothmer in Glories of the Past no. 120. The London cup is a large work by the painter in his mature phase. Beazley said of the painter (ARV2 400) that he 'has vigour, but no subtlety, and most of his work is mechanical and repetitive.' Beazley marked three cups as early (ARV2 418, 25-6 and 420, 60). The last of these is really a work of the Foundry Painter (see CVA Amsterdam pl. 30, 2 and 31, 1 with text p. 52; Glories of the Past 167), but one may add three more early pieces (ARV2 417, 7; 420, 67; Para 374, add as 41 bis). The damaged Innsbruck komast cup (ii.27.2: ARV2 420, 61) is even earlier. His major mythological cups (ARV2 417, 1-3) belong to his mature phase. They reflect, through the medium of the Brygos Painter, iconographic ideas developed by Onesimos. The mature cup with Greeks fighting Persians, once on the Rome Market (ARV2 417, 4), is now New York 1980.11.21. Several cups are labelled by Beazley as 'late' (ARV2 420, 59; 421-2, 90-6; Para 374, add as 94 bis): they are already Early Classical (add also ARV2 418, 19 and 22; 419, 48-9; 872, 12) and represent his latest phase. It seems clear that he did not enter into a monumental phase like his companions, the Brygos, Briseis and Dokimasia Painters.
The scheme of the interior recalls that of the Leningrad cup where the boy is replaced by a woman playing the pipes (ARV2 418, 22); compare also three other cups where the third figure is omitted (ARV2 420, 62 and 421, 85; Lugano market [Studer]). Three further pieces by the Painter of the Paris Gigantomachy repeat the frieze of vessels on the exterior: Lugano market; Basel, Cahn inv. 620; Chamay fragments, the Florence fragments (ARV2 421, 80 have been reattributed by J.R. Guy to the Triptolemos Painter). For further examples of such a frieze see Vase E64. For cups hung up on the wall and seen from underneath, cf. especially the works of Douris, seeVase E49.
The so-called Sotadean kantharos, shown in the frieze (also on the Lugano market cup), has been identified by J. Boardman with Herakles' karchesion, see JHS 99 (1979) 149-51; for an alternative identification see M. Pfrommer, Studien zu alexandrinischer und grossgriechischer Toreutik fruhhellenistischer Zeit (Berlin 1987) 3-4. The Apulian rhyton in the Petit Palais combines a ship's prow with a karchesion of the type sketched by Boardman (Petit Palais 411: J. S. Morrison and R.T. Williams, Greek Oared Ships (Cambridge 1968) pi. 26, c).
The potting was not attributed by Bloesch and Seki (U 48 no. 204: he calls the foot alien!). The narrow black band under the foot is a late feature; the thickness of the foot plate can be paralleled in the workshop of Brygos.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2007 31 Mar-30 Jun, Gosport, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
2007-2008 3 Nov-24 Feb, Leicester, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
2008 29 Mar-1 Jun, Luton, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
2008 20 Jun-5 Oct, Lincoln, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
2008-2009 25 Oct-24 Jan, South Shields, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
2009 7 Feb-4 May, Glasgow, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
2010-2012 20 Oct-9 Dec, Luton, Wardown Park, Ancient Greeks
2017 13 Jul-15 Oct, Madrid, Caixa Forum, Ancient Greeks
2017-2018 23 Nov-18 Feb, Barcelona, Caixa Forum, Ancient Greeks
2018 20 Mar-24 Jun, Sevilla, Caixa Forum, Ancient Greeks
2018 24 Jul-4 Nov, Zaragoza, Caixa Forum, Ancient Greeks
2018-2019 18 Dec-31 Mar, Palma, Caixa Forum, Ancient Greeks
2021 19 Jun-7 Nov, Australia, Perth, Western Australian Museum, Ancient Greeks
2021-2022 16 Dec-1 May, Australia, Canberra, National Museum of Australia, Ancient Greeks
2022 10 Jun-06 Nov, New Zealand, Auckland, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Ancient Greeks
2022-2024 24 Dec-25 Feb, China, Suzhou, Suzhou Museum, Ancient Greeks
- Made up from fragments; two pairs of ancient rivet holes; reserved surface eroded in places (especially side B).
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number