Side B: an eye made into a siren

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Summary: Side A: Two satyrs lying on the ground masturbating. Side B: An eye made into a siren. Under the handles, dogs defecating.
Ware: Attic Black Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Amasis Painter
Date: ca. 520 BC - ca. 515 BC

H 0.083 m D 0.19 m

Primary Citation: ABV, 157.86; Para, 65; Beazley Addenda 1, 20; Beazley Addenda 2, 46
Shape: Kylix
Beazley Number: 310515
Period: Archaic


Broken in many places and mended with some restoration.

Decoration Description:

Side A: Two bearded nude revelers lie on their backs with their feet toward the center and their heads toward the handles. They are masturbating. The man on the left wears a red fillet around his head and a flowered red and white garland around his neck. The hair around his nipple and his penis are painted red. The man on the right, wearing a flowery wreath on his head and a red garland on his right shoulder, leans on a folded red and white painted pillow, and has just ejaculated. His beard, testes, and the glans of his penis are painted red. He "extends his free hand in greeting"! (von Bothmer, 221)

Side B: A male (von Bothmer identifies it as male, 221) siren stands to the right with wings outspread and left hand extended, palm up. He wears a peplos on his shoulders and a fillet in his hair. Bordering his tail bar are ornate bands of dots and incised wavy lines. His body is one large apotropaic eye. His face, fillet, and peplos are painted red, as are parts of his wings and the pupil of the apotropaic eye. The second ring of the iris in the eye is painted white, as is part of the wings.

Beneath each handle, a dog defecates facing Side B. The dogs' necks and excrement are painted red.

The inside of the vessel is glazed except for the reserved line just below the glazed rim and the tondo, which is decorated with a dot and two concentric circles, one broad and one narrow (dilute). On the exterior, the narrative zone encircles the upper part of the bowl; a painted line runs around the lower part.

Collection History:

Purchased in Italy by E.P. Warren and given to the Museum.

Sources Used:

Boardman 1974, fig. 82, 1-2; von Bothmer 1985, 66, 221-222, no. 61; Beazley 1951, pl. 59.1-2; CVA, USA 19, Boston 2, pls. 100.5, 101; Keuls 1985, 286, fig. 256

Other Bibliography:

D. von Bothmer "New Vases by the Amasis Painter" AK 3 (1960) 80; Boardman & La Rocca 1978, 82, top; Johns 1982, 92, fig. 73; Karouzou 1956, 36, no. 66; A. Mulas Eros in Antiquity (New York, 1978), 42; Muscarella 1974, under no. 56; Robertson 1975, 638, no. 134; K. Schauenburg "Neue Amphoren des Amasismalers" JdI 79(1964) 124, 135, 137, figs. 21-22; E. Vermeule "Some Erotica in Boston" AK (1969) 11-12, fig. 5, pl. 7, 1-4