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Youth, from the chest up

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Bearded man wearing petasos and youth play with spinning top

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Bearded male figure (possibly Hermes), from the chest up

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Youth, from knees up

Collection: Johns Hopkins University Museum, Baltimore
Summary: Man and youth playing with a whip top
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to Douris
Context: From Chiusi
Date: ca. 480 BC - 470 BC

H. 0.095 m., W. with handles 0.30 m., D. rim 0.225 m., D. foot 0.087 m.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 445, no. 251
Shape: Kylix
Region: Etruria
Period: Late Archaic/Early Classical

Decoration Description:

Tondo: standing on exergue is a bearded male bending over a whip top, his supporting right leg frontal, his left leg in left profile. In the hand of his upraised right arm is a stick, on which there are three strings. His left hand rests on his left knee. His torso is largely concealed by his chlamys, which is fastened on his right shoulder. His head is in right profile and he wears a petasos. In field below his right elbow is a floral motif. On other side of top is youth whose torso faces three-quarters front, legs in left profile, right arm extended, left hand on hip. Mantle draped over body and back of head, exposing only right shoulder and arm. He wears a fillet. In field above his head is a floral motif.

Relief contour throughout, except for reserved hairline. Dilute glaze for some inner markings. Added red for strings of stick and lettering. Border consists of rightward meander.

The petasos and chlamys suggest that the top-spinner is Hermes, and other vases show Hermes, with winged sandals and kerykeion, spinning a top. Beazley suggests that after receiving the whip from Apollo (HH Herm. 497), Hermes invented the whip top, although other types of tops subsequently evolved (D. Gould, Expedition 22 [1980] 43-7). We are perhaps to imagine that the god is in the palaestra, an area sacred to Hermes and an association that accounts for the deity's special rapport with youth.


In field: *K*A*L*O*S *X*H ("Che.. is beautiful")


RW No. 114

Collection History:

Formerly Hartwig collection.

Sources Used:

Williams 1984, 175, no. 114

Other Bibliography:

CVA, Robinson 2 (USA 6) 16, pl. XII