Side A: oblique from right

Side A: Theseus, upper half

Side B: Skiron

Side B: Theseus and Skiron

Side B: oblique from left

Side B: Theseus, upper half

Collection: Toledo Museum of Art
Summary: Side A: Theseus and Prokrustes. Side B: Theseus and Skiron.
Ware: Attic Black Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Theseus Painter
Date: ca. 500 BC - ca. 490 BC

H. 0.167 m., d. rim 0.225 m., w. with handles 0.297 m., d. foot 0.14 m.

Primary Citation: Para, 257 (with B's subject erroneously described as Sinis)
Shape: Skyphos
Period: Late Archaic


Black glaze partly peeled, especially on side B.

Decoration Description:

Side A: Theseus and Prokrustes. In the center Theseus is pursuing and catching Prokrustes, having grabbed him with his left hand by the head. Theseus holds a double-bladed axe in his right hand and wears a fillet, baldric and scabbard at his side. In a tree behind him are hanging his hat and cloak. Prokrustes has fallen to his right knee; his body still points right but his head is turned back to face his attacker. He is bearded and naked except for a fillet. On the far right a woman moves away from the action, but she too turns back to look at the fight. She is wearing a chiton, fillet and himation. She holds out her right hand and clasps her forehead with her left.

Added red is used for Theseus's hat, dots on his cloak, the axe blade, all the fillets, Prokrustes's beard and the blood from his wound, and dots on the woman's clothes. Added yellow (now appearing off-white) appears in the woman's hair and the rock under Prokrustes. Added white includes the dots on Theseus's cloak, his baldric, the butt of the axe handle, the woman's skin, and the blossoms on the tree.

Side B: Theseus and Skiron. In the center facing right, Theseus grips Skiron's legs to push him off his rock. Theseus is naked except for a filet. Skiron is wounded and bleeding from his thigh. In a gesture of supplication he holds out both hands and gazes up at his opponent. A snake slithers along the rock next to him. Skiron is bearded and like Theseus, naked but for his fillet. Behind Skiron on the far right, a woman moves away to the right; she looks back over her shoulder at Skiron and holds out her hands toward him, as if in disgust at his situation. She is wearing a chiton, himation and fillet. Behind Theseus on the left, a tree with spreading branches is standing, with Theseus's cloak and hat hung up on it.

Added red is used for Theseus's hat border, dots on his cloak, the three fillets, Skiron's beard, the blood from his thigh, dots on the woman's clothes and markings on the snake. Added yellow appears on the woman's hair and the snake, while added white includes the woman's skin, the rock's outline and the blossoms on the tree.

Under each handle is a standing heron facing right, executed in added white. The vessel's interior is fully glazed except for a small circle with a black center at the bottom and a narrow reserved band at the rim. The lip is offset with a double row of ivy leaves. At the base is a narrow fillet in added red and above it, a band of alternating red and black tongues with no dividing lines. The flat surface of the foot is reserved, while its steep inner face is glazed. The underside is reserved; a thick black circle at the center encloses a thinner circle and a dot.

Sources Used: CVA, USA fasc. 17, pp. 22-23, pl. 32

Other Bibliography: Münzen, 5 Oktober 1963, p. 59, no. 114; Riefstahl 1968, p. 39; Brommer 1973, p. 245, no. 7, p. 249, and p. 250, no. 4; Boardman 1974, p. 147, and fig. 245, 1-2; Münzen 14-15. März 1975, p. 62, no. 149; Moret, L'Ilioupersis dans la céramique italiote, p. 201, footnote 4