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131. 97.369 CUP from Falerii PLATE LXXIV, 3

Diameter 0.215, height 0.081. I, woman at laver. About 470 B.C., by Douris (VA. p. 99; Att. V. p. 206 no. 90; ARV.1 p. 291 no. 191; ARV.2 p. 444 no. 248).

The cup, of Type B, belongs to the fourth — the Polyphrasmon period — of Douris.

The action is the same as in the earlier cup by Douris, no. 128: a woman bends over a shallow basin, which rests on a stand; her hands are in the basin. Beside the stand there is a vessel of the same shape as in the other cup; and again a small goatskin bag hangs on the wall. Behind, the foot of a couch is seen, with a striped cover on it. The costume is chiton, himation, ear-rings, and a saccos ornamented with rows of lotus-buds, a row of crosses, and another of dots. The folds of the chiton are stylized in groups of three on the sleeves, of two on the skirt: compare the chiton of Prometheus on a cup by Douris in the Cabinet des Médailles1 and, for the saccos, his cup in Berlin (Berlin 2289).2

Relief-contours. The hair over the forehead is edged with relief-lines. Red for the inscription, ΗΕΠΑΙΣ ΚΑΛΕ. A repainted fracture runs through the end of the coverlet, and another through the mouth of the goatskin.

In his late period Douris sometimes abandons his characteristic border and uses an ordinary sort of maeander-and-cross-square.

The picture is difficult to poise, as the horizontals of the objects run crazily. This is no doubt deliberate, but it is not easy to see what is gained.

The subject is the same as in the earlier cup by Douris, no. 128, except that the person is a woman instead of a naked youth. The basin is again very shallow; the same vessel stands on the ground; and the same goatskin hangs on the wall. On a still later cup by Douris, in Tarquinia, the subject is again the same, except that there is no goatskin; the place of the couch is taken by a table with a basket on it.3

If we had only these three pictures, we should say that the persons were washing their hands, and that is probably what they are doing. The vessel on the ground — a general-purposes washing-bowl — supplements the high basin, which is all right for cleansing arms and face, but not so suitable for what may be termed sublution. Many vessels of this nature have been found in recent excavations.4 Four from the Agora have handles like ours, and so has one from Todi;5 other representations of it in various uses are on a lost cup quoted by Hartwig, on a cup by Epiktetos in Villa Giulia, and on a cup by the Brygos Painter in Boston.6

And the goatskin? in other surroundings one would call it a wineskin, but here it can scarcely be that, and other things are carried in skins besides wine: I do not know if it could contain some cleansing matter or other: perhaps vinegar?

A third occurrence of it in similar surroundings is probably to be found on a cup in the Agora collection at Athens, by an earlier artist, the Painter of the Agora Chairiases, where a naked woman bends over a vessel in which she plunges her hands: the remains on the right of the fragmentary picture are no doubt, as Miss Talcott has seen, one end of a suspended skin.7 The skin is certainly present, hanging on the wall, on a white lekythos of the early classic period in the British Museum,8 where a woman bends over a basin, of normal depth, which rests on a stand. The vessel on the ground has the shape of an oinochoe. On a small red-figured lekythos of about 4309 a naked youth kneels with his hands on a basin at the foot of a tree; the basin is on the ground, has no stand; a skin hangs from a branch of the tree. Our last example is from a pelike, by the Geras Painter, in Berkeley:10 a young satyr kneels on the ground with his hands in a basin which rests on his thighs; a full-grown satyr holds a pail in one hand, in the other an oinochoe from which he pours a liquid into the basin; above, the skin, hanging, and a lidded vessel on a shelf. Amyx has made a persuasive case for cooking being represented,11 and that is the chief reason for our hesitation in interpreting the pictures by Douris.


A. Greifenhagen, Die Griechische Vase (Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Universität Rostock 16, 1967), p. 451; Wegner 1968b, pp. 210, 214; Para., p. 375, no. 248; J.-L. Durand and F. Lissarrague, Hephaistos 2 (1980), pp. 94-95, fig. 10; Beazley Addenda 1, p. 118; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 241.


1 Paris, Cab. Méd. 542: Mon. 5 pl. 35: ARV.1 p. 287 no. 113; ARV.2 p. 438 no. 133.

2 Pfuhl fig. 461: ARV.1 p. 286 no. 84; ARV.2 p. 435 no. 95.

3 Tarquinia RC 1116: Eranos Vindobonensis p. 381; CV. pl. 10, 4: ARV.1 p. 291 no. 192; ARV.2 p. 445 no. 250. For the style compare the New York cup (New York 23.160.54; Richter and Hall pl. 61, pll. 63-64 and pl. 181, 59: ARV.1 p. 289 no. 152: ARV.2 p. 441 no. 186).

4 Talcott in Hesp. 4 pp. 493-5, pp. 511-12, 517, and 321, Hesp. 5 pp. 342-4 and 364-52, Corbett in Hesp. 18 pp. 333-4.

5 Hesp. 15 pl. 66, 306-7; Hesp. 18 pl. 96, 85-86; Todi, CV. pl. 13, 10. The shape of a red-figured bell-krater in Compiègne seems based on such vessels (Compiègne 1025: CV. pl. 18, 1-2, pl. 18 bis, and pl. 19, 1-2: ARV.1 p. 698, Group of Polygnotos, no. 52; ARV.2 p. 1055 no. 76. An earlier relative is an Eastern Greek vase in Istanbul (Metr. St. 5 pp. 120-1).

6 Once Chiusi, Casuccini: Inghirami Mus. Chius. pl. 28. Villa Giulia: ARV.1 p. 49 no. 68; ARV.2 p. 76 no. 77. Boston 10.200: Plate 9, 23 and i p. 23 (Boston 10.200); and (including a fragment that joins and has been presented to the Museum) Suppl. Plate 20, 1-2.

7 Hesp. 23 pl. 15, e; Hesp. 24 pl. 32, a: ARV.2 p. 176, below, no. 2.

8 London 1909.4-6.3: Herford Handbook of Greek Vase Painting p. 89.

9 Phot. R. I. 42. 351.

10 Berkeley 8.4583: AJA. 1945 p. 509. ARV.2 p. 286 no. 10.

11 AJA. 1945 pp. 508-18.

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