- Museum number
Pottery: red-figured skyphos.
[Description from catalogue of BM vases vol. IV (1896) - not up to date. The woman on the swing may be Erigone instead of Phaedra]
Designs red on black ground, with yellow accessories; coarse style. Above the designs, (a) palmettes, (b) egg-moulding; below, maeander and crosses; under the handles, palmettes.
(a) Phaedra (?): A female figure seated in a swing to left, looking up, with hair in a knot, fillet, earrings, necklace, bracelets, long girt chiton fastened with fibulae on the shoulders, and himation over knees; she holds the rope with both hands. The swing is propelled by Eros from behind; his figure has been much restored; below the swing is a small dog leaping up to left. On the left is a female figure to right, with hair in a knot, earrings, necklace, bracelets, long girt chiton fastened with fibulae on the shoulders, holding up a mirror in left hand. The breasts of the female figures are indicated in white.
(b) Two nude ephebi confronted, each with staff and one hand on hip; on the right is a female figure seated to left, with hair in a knot and long girt bordered chiton with stripe down the side, holding up a mirror in right hand; all much repainted.
- Production date
- 375BC-350BC (circa)
Height: 23 centimetres
Weight: 1.70 kilograms
Width: 42 centimetres
- Curator's comments
H.B. Walters in the 1896 catalogue suggested that the figure commonly described as Phaedra was in fact Erigone whose suicide by hanging was commemorated at the Aiora festival (see Canetti and Tronca 2020).
Canetti, L. and Tronca, D. 2020,
'Swinging on a star: The mythical and ritual schemata of oscillation', Mantichora. Italian Journal of Performance Studies 10, 45-55.
BM Cat. Vases vol. IV (1896) [Historic text, not up to date or reliable]
Gerhard, Ant. Bildw. pl. 54; Panofka, Griechinnen u. Griechen, plate, fig. 7.
For the subject of side a, cf. Berlin No. 2589; Jahn, Ber. d. Sachs. Gesellsch. 1854, p. 243 ff.; Becq de Fouquieres, Les Jeux des Anciens, p. 54; Daremberg and Saglio, i. p. 171; and Baumeister, p. 1571. According to Pausanias, x. 29, 3, Polygnotos represented Phaedra as swinging in his painting at Delphi (see Robert, Nekyia des Polygnot, p. 57. This scene might also have reference to Erigone, whose death by hanging was commemorated in the Athenian Αίώρα or swinging festival (Harrison and Verrall, p. xlii.).
- On display (G73/dc13)
- Much injured.
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number