- Museum number
Pottery: red-figured kylix.
INTERIOR: seated old man and man. On the left an old man with beard and receding hair is seated on a simple stool with a striped cushion. He is dressed in long chiton and himation and has a red wreath in his hair. He holds a plain stick in his left hand and gestures towards the bearded man facing him with his right hand. This man wears a himation and shoes and has a red wreath in his hair. He leans to the left on a knotty stick and is seen in three-quarter back view. His left arm, covered in drapery, is bent back to hold the top of his stick which supports him under his left armpit. He gestures with his right hand towards the seated man.
Border: dotted cross square alternating with five units of running maeander (five-stroke, clockwise); irregularities at 7 o'clock (three and a half maeander units) and at 8 and 9 o'clock (only four units).
Side A (lower): Briseis being led away from Achilles. On the far left a bearded herald in short chiton, chlamys, pilos hat with red ties and boots with horizontal divisions (dilute glaze) starts to move away to the left but turns back his head and torso so that his right leg is also seen from the back (dilute glaze wash in hair and beard). He holds a kerykeion up in his left hand; his right hand grips the draped hand or wrist of a woman behind him. She is Briseis and wears a chiton and a himation pulled up over the back of her head, faces to the left, a double red band around her head. Behind her is a second bearded herald (dilute glaze wash for beard). He wears a pilos hat with red ties, horizontally striped boots (dilute glaze) and a chlamys that covers the short chiton that he is presumably wearing beneath it. In the centre a bearded man in a himation leans on a knotty stick to the right, his right hand on his hip, his left arm hidden in his drapery. He has a red fillet in his hair. He faces the tent of Achilles which takes the form of four (only two shown) plain posts with simple block bases with a large striped textile with a fringed edge draped over them. Up in the folds of this marquee are, on the left, a Corinthian helmet with a long crest on a square hook or shelf and, on the right, a scabbard with a red strap. Next to the scabbard is planted a spear. In the centre of the tent sits Achilles on an elaborate folding stool (animal legs) with a cushion decorated with zigzags. He wears shoes and a himation which envelops all but the upper part of his face. He has a red fillet in his hair and dilute wash in his wavy hair. His left arm is wrapped around a knotty stick. Behind the tent, on the extreme right, stands a bearded elder in long chiton, himation and shoes; he also has a red hair-band. He holds a staff or sceptre in his right hand.
Side Β (upper): Briseis being led back. On the left a bearded man, wearing a himation pulled up over the back of his head and a red fillet, leans on a knotty stick, his right leg frontal: he is presumably Agamemnon. In front of him stands a bearded elder to the left. He is dressed in long chiton (dilute glaze border), himation, shoes and a red fillet and rests his right hand on top of a plain stick. Behind him stands a second bearded elder similarly dressed and accoutred but facing to the right. In the centre is a fluted column with a plain block base but a Doric capital with architrave above. To the right of the central column a herald in pilos hat with red ties, chlamys and red thonged high sandals moves to the right. In his right hand he holds a kerykeion; his left hand is raised inside his chlamys; at his hip is a scabbard. In front of him is Briseis in chiton (upper folds done with dilute glaze) and himation pulled up over the back of her head. She has a double red band around her head. In front of her is a second herald who leads her by the hand - hers within its drapery. He is moving right but has turned back to look at her, his head to the left, torso and right leg frontal. He is dressed in short chiton, chlamys and pilos hat with red ties and holds a kerykeion up in his left hand. In front of him, on the extreme right, is a second column, as the first. These two columns are probably intended to be the entrance porch to Agamemnon's more palatial tent, out through which the two heralds are leading Briseis.
Under either handle: a solid stone seat with dilute glaze strokes. Ground line: single reserved line.
Relief line contour throughout (except for hair); dilute glaze for minor interior markings; added red for inscriptions.
- Production date
- 480BC (circa)
Diameter: 12 centimetres (of exterior ground line)
Diameter: 11.20 centimetres (of foot)
Diameter: 17.50 centimetres (of tondo)
Diameter: 30 centimetres
Height: 12 centimetres
Width: 38.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- CVA British Museum 9
Bibliography: Mus. Étrusque no. 1984; Hartwig Μ 426-9, 689 no. 2, pls. 42, 1 and 41; Murray DGV no. 53; VA 109 and 110 no. 7; Hoppin i, 101 no. 6; AV 194, i; ARV 266, 1; Bloesch FAS 88, below no. 3; ARV2 406, 1 and p. 1651; Para 371; LIMC iv sv Eurybates 1, no. 5, pls. 49-50 (details of heralds on left of Β and right of A); I.Th. Kakrides (ed.), Ellenike Mythologia (Athens 1986) V, 96 figs. 73-4 (A-B); Beazley Add2 232; Carpenter Art and Myth fig. 302 (A).
C. 485—480 BC.
Comment: Given by Hartwig to his 'Bald-headed Master' (Meister mit dem Kahlkopfe), it became the name-piece of Beazley's Briseis Painter.
On the Briseis Painter see in addition to Beazley's lists: VA 109-11; Richter and Hall 71-2 (no. 51); C.B. ii 39-41 (no. 86); Boardman ARFV Archaic 137; M. True, Getty Vases 1 (1983) 76-9; D. von Bothmer in Festschrift Schauenburg 65-70; Robertson Art of Vase-painting 115. The cup attributed by True is, in fact, a late work by Onesimos. Bothmer publishes a lekythos with the kalos name Lykos (ARV2 1596, once Nicole), but the date suggests that the Lykos is not the same Lykos as is praised on Onesimos' later works. It is possible to isolate three Lykoi among Beazley's list (ARV2 1595-6): Lykos I appears on a work by Euphronios (ARV2 1596 bottom = 13, 1); Lykos II is praised by Onesimos, the Antiphon Painter, the Foundry Painter and the painter of the Boston hydria (ARV2 1596 middle), and is named by the Triptolemos Painter; Lykos III is praised on works by the pupils of the Antiphon Painter (ARV2 1596 nos 19 and 21) and greeted on a vase by the Copenhagen Painter (ARV2 1596 middle = 257, 14).
The painter's earliest phase has perhaps not been identified yet, for nothing in Beazley's lists seems appreciably earlier than apparendy mature works such as the London pair of cups. The Briseis cup should also be compared with the artist's other major mythological cups (ARV2 406, 7-8) and with some of his other elaborate works (e.g. ARV2 407, 16; Para 372, add as 8 bis, with Beazley Add2 232). These all belong beside fully middle works of the Brygos Painter. A series of slighter cups may reflect the artist's later years. The Basel cup (BS 442, ex Schweizer; Para 372, add as 32 bis; CVA Basel 2, pl. 13, 3 and 16 and 17 1-2) has been rightly reattributed to the Painter of the Fourteenth Brygos.
The Briseis Painter also decorated several neck-amphorae, lekythoi, an oinochoe, pyxides, an alabastron, dishes and a plate, all of which shapes can be found elsewhere in the Brygan workshop. In addition, there are an amphora of Panathenaic shape and two column-kraters (J.R. Guy has attributed one from Gravina with an Anacreontic scene to the Briseis Painter): these shapes reveal contact with other painters of larger shapes that are less often connected with the Brygan workshop, such as the Triptolemos Painter and the Flying-angel Painter. His work on larger shapes carries him fully into the Early Classical period.
Bloesch placed the London cup with three other cups decorated by the Briseis Painter as being in the neighbourhood of the potter Brygos.
For the iconography of the exterior see A. Kossatz-Deissmann LIMC iv sv Briseis, p. 157-166, especially 166; Schefold Sagen 181-2; and D. Williams in Getty Vases 5 (1991) 56-9. The two heralds on both sides are presumably Talthybios and Eurybates. On side A the painter has combined the leading away of Briseis with the embassy to Achilles and the man in front of Achilles' tent is presumably Odysseus (or Ajax) and the elder behind it Phoinix (as Beazley suggested: ARV2 406, 1). Makron's roughly contemporary depiction of the Briseis scene has the embassy on one side and the leading away on the other: ARV2 458, 2. On the embassy to Achilles see Vase E56. On side Β the two elders who watch the sending back of Briseis are not easily identified. This is the only occurrence of the return of Briseis (unless the tondo of Vase E69 shows an excerpt - see Vase E69).
It is not certain whether the scene on the interior belongs in the sphere of genre or mythology. If mythological and linked with the exterior, it might be Odysseus' embassy to Chryses. See also Vase E75.
On the Briseis Painter's nonsense inscriptions see most recendy Immerwahr Attic Script 89 with footnote 38 (this cup his no. 557). For the boots of the two heralds on side A cf. on Vase E69; those worn by the herald on side Β are krepides. For the dilute glaze border to the chitons and the fringe of the tent see Bothmer in Festschrift Schauenburg 68.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2019-2020 21 Nov-8 Mar, London, BM, SEG, Troy
- Made up from fragments: one rim fragment and two small wall chips missing.
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number