Collection online

pyxis

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1893,1103.2

  • Description

    Pottery: red-figured pyxis (cosmetic box).
    (a) On the body, the chariot of Aphrodite, three-quarters to right, with two Erotes yoked to the pole, who wear sandals and a radiated fillet around their long hair. The one on the right, Hedylogos, turns to place his right hand on the shoulder of Pothos, whose arms hang at his sides. Over each is inscribed his name, ΠΟΘΟΣ, Πόθος, ΗΔΥΛΟΓΟΣ, Ήδυλογος. Behind the chariot Aphrodite moves forward as if about to step in, holding in each hand a pair of reins and in right a long goad; she wears a long tied chiton, a radiated fillet, bracelets, earrings, and a necklace of beads; her hair is knotted behind; over her her name, Α+ΡΟΔΙΤΗ, 'Αφροδίτη. On the right of the Erotes is a shrub, from which Hygieia plucks a fruit as she moves away to right; she is dressed as Aphrodite, but has her hair falling loose on her shoulders; over her ΥΓΙΕΙΑ, Υγίεια. Next on right Eunomia is seated in a chair to right, with right arm resting on the back of the chair, and holding in each hand the end of a string of beads; she wears a long chiton and himation, and ornaments and head-dress like those of Aphrodite; over her, EVNOMIA, Εύνομία. Confronting her is Paedia (ΠΑΙΔΙΑ, Παδία), holding out towards her in her right a string of beads; on her left hand is a square box containing purple and white fruits; she has ornaments and dress as Aphrodite. Next on right is Eudaemonia (EΥΔAIMONIA, Ευδαιμονία), dressed as the last, with left foot on raised ground, fastening her sandal; she looks at Himeros (ΙΜΕΡΟΣ, Ἵμερος), who advances towards her, holding out in his right hand a string of beads; in his left is a fruit; he wears a radiated fillet and sandals. Next is Harmonia (ΑΡΜΟΝΙΑ, Αρμονία), seated to left in a chair, exactly balancing the figure of Eunomia, but holding in each hand the end of a laurel wreath; she wears long chiton and himation, jewellery as before, and radiated fillet; she turns her head in three-quarter face to right to look at Kale (ΚΑΛΗ, Καλή), who turns to her as she moves away to right, holding in each hand the end of a string of beads; she wears a long chiton, a sphendone, and jewellery as Aphrodite.
    (b) On the lid, the death of Pentheus (?). On a flowery hillside, indicated by rosettes and delicately engraved lines, Dionysos, a youthful figure with right hand on hip and left holding upright a thyrsos, is seated to right on a mantle; he wears high laced buskins and a radiated fillet; he turns to left towards a Maenad, who moves towards him, placing her left hand on his shoulder, and, from the gesture of her right, addressing him; she wears a long chiton with apoptygma, a sphendone, and jewellery. Beside Dionysos, on the right, a Maenad is seated playing on a chelys; she wears a long chiton, himation, and jewellery and a sphendone. Before her, on right, dance two Maenads in opposite directions, their heads thrown back, hair and drapery flying; each holds in her left one leg of a fawn, which they are tearing in two between them. Next on right is a Maenad seated to right, but looking round to left, playing on a tambourine; she is dressed like the other seated Maenad. Next on right is Agave (?), dancing to right, with head thrown back, swinging over her left shoulder the figure of a boy, which she holds with her left hand by the right ankle. The boy, Pentheus (?), is nude, but wears a bracelet on his right wrist; his arms hang helplessly downwards. Last comes a Maenad dancing to left, looking down with arms extended on each side, holding a thyrsos in her right hand; her hair is knotted behind with a fillet. All the dancing Maenads wear a long chiton with a girdle, which is passed over the shoulders and under the arms.
    In the centre of the lid the bronze button and ring are still attached. Drawing of latter part of the fine period. Gold on raised ground is used for the jewellery, beads, laurel, and wings of Erotes, and rosettes on the lid. White for flesh of Erotes, inscriptions and cords. The designs on the lid form two friezes, one around the vertical part, the other around the central bronze ring; this frieze has above and below it a band of egg pattern.

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  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 420BC-400BC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 8.25 centimetres
    • Diameter: 13.3 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    A very similar composition occurs on the Bologna crater, Ant. Denkm. i, pl. 36, where one of the dancing Maenads has on her shoulder an infant; beside her is a pine tree: the representations of the Pentheus legend in art have been collected by Jahn, Pentheus und die Manaden, Kiel, 1841, and by Hartwig in Jahrbuch, 1892, p. 154.

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  • Bibliography

    • Vase E775 bibliographic details
    • Williams & Ogden 1994 p. 56 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G19/dc2

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2006 8 Jun-4 Sep, Los Angeles, The Getty Villa, The Colors of Clay

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1893

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1893,1103.2

Pottery: red-figured pyxis (cosmetic box): on the upper surface of the lid, Dionysos with maenads, one carrying a child slung over her shoulder; on the walls, Aphrodite with attendants prepares to mount a chariot drawn by Erotes.

Unknown

Pottery: red-figured pyxis (cosmetic box): on the upper surface of the lid, Dionysos with maenads, one carrying a child slung over her shoulder; on the walls, Aphrodite with attendants prepares to mount a chariot drawn by Erotes.

Image description

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Object reference number: GAA9531

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