Lid: Herakles

Overview: interior

Lid: erotes

Lid: Zeus on throne

Overview: bottom

Lid: second female figure

Collection: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania
Summary: Lid: marriage of Herakles and Hebe.
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Date: ca. 350 BC

H. 0.080 m., D. 0.210 m.

Shape: Pyxis
Period: Late Classical


The surface of the pyxis is chipped and scratched, especially on the bottom and in the interior. The lid and exterior of the body are in good condition.

Decoration Description:

Marriage of Herakles and Hebe. The marriage is shown in a circular scene on the lid of the pyxis. The procession proceeds to the right, where Zeus is seated on a throne, Hera standing beside him. Beginning with the seated group, from right to left the characters are: an erotes, Zeus, Hera, Athena, a female torchbearer, an erotes, Herakles, Hebe, an erotes, and two female figures. Zeus and Hera face left, where the wedding procession approaches. Zeus is reclining with his left arm casually draped over the back of the throne, a long, striped staff held in his right hand. He wears a decorative mantle over his lower body. His upper body is bare. Hera stands beside him, leaning with her left arm resting on the other side of the throne back and holding a striped staff in her right hand. She wears a chiton with elaborate decoration on the hem and bodice. Both Hera and Zeus wear purple diadems. An erotes standing behind the throne also leans on its back, partially resting on Zeus' arm. A thymiaterion stands on the ground between the erotes and the throne. Athena is seated to the left of Zeus and Hera, her seat turned toward them but her head turned to watch the approach of the wedding procession. She wears a white bodice over her thin chiton, a crested helmet, bracelets, earrings and a bead necklace. She holds her spear resting against her left knee, and sits on a mantle draped over her seat. To her left stands a female figure facing left and holding two torches. She is wearing a thin chiton with a decorative bodice and a wide band around her hair. A large bird stands on the ground in front of her. The wedding party is led by an erotes carrying a torch. He lunges to the right but turns his head to watch Herakles and Hebe. Herakles is leading Hebe by the hand. He is naked but for a piece of cloth draped over his shoulders, and he carries his club in his left hand. Hebe walks beside him dressed in a white, ankle-length skirt and tunic with elaborate patterns done in added red-brown paint. She also wears a bracelet on each wrist and dangling earrings. An erotes flies behind her, lifting or adjusting her veil. A rectangular chest stands on the ground behind the erotes. Next come two girls, one carrying a box and a sash, the other a loutrophoros-hydria. Both wear thin chitons belted high, and turn to each other to chat as they walk. Behind the girl with the box stands another rectangular chest. The skin of Hebe and the three erotes is done in white paint.

Shape Description:

Type C pyxis. There is a bronze ring in the center of the lid.

Collection History:

The pyxis was purchased from Canessa in 1916.

Other Bibliography:

Luce 1916, 269-270; AJA 21, 1917, 455, fig. 1; Beazley 1928a, 6 n. 2; Schefold 1934, 59 no. 579