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17. 95.36 KANTHAROS Zeus pursuing Aegina; Zeus pursuing Ganymede PLATE VI

Height, 0.241 m.; width (handle to handle), 0.27 m. Broken, but nearly complete. The chief injuries are to the heads of Aegina on side A and Zeus on side B. The surface painted black without and within, except for a narrow strip at the rim, the edge and lower surface of the foot, and two lines bordering the moulding at the top of the stem, which are reserved. The offset edge of the lower member of the bowl is decorated with a tongue pattern. Relief contours throughout, except for the hair. Red used for the fillet and girdle of Aegina on side A, for the soles and straps of Zeus' sandals and the fillet of Ganymede on side B. Brown used on side A for the hair of Aegina, the body hair of Zeus, the folds of the upper part of Aegina's chiton and those of the back portion of the skirt, the details of the palm tree; on side B for the body hair of Zeus and the spots on his gaiters; also for the anatomical markings on the three male figures and for the sterno-mastoid muscle of Aegina. The full-size illustrations on the plate are from F. Anderson's excellent drawings, which have already been reproduced in colour by Tarbell and Tonks. In the drawing of side A some brown folds of the upper part of Aegina's chiton on the left side have been accidentally omitted.

Said to have been found at Thebes. Ann. Rep. 1895, p. 20, no. 24. Tarbell, 'A Cantharus from the Factory of Brygos,' University of Chicago Decennial Publications, 1902, vi, pp. 3-5, Pls. II, III. Tonks, Brygos — His Characteristics, no. 53, pp. 90, 114, Pls. I, II. Beazley, V.A., p. 90, fig. 57. Hoppin, i, p. 126, no. 29. Pfuhl, iii, fig. 433. Beazley, Att. V., p. 181, no. 74. Drawings of the kantharos are given by Hambidge, Dyn. Sym., p. 68, and Caskey, G.G.V., p. 162, no. 121, and p. 33, Diagram XLIV.

A. Zeus, wearing an himation and holding a sceptre in his left hand, rushes to left in pursuit of Aegina, who flees from him with head turned back, stretching out her left hand in a deprecatory gesture. With her right hand she pulls up her Ionic chiton, exposing her advanced left leg. An himation hangs from her shoulders. Her long, fair hair is gathered up into a bunch, and tied with a red, triple-ended fillet. A red girdle, also with triple ends, appears below the kolpos of the dress. The right end of the picture is occupied by an altar, with a palm tree behind it.

B. Zeus, wearing himation, sandals, and gaiters, and carrying an obliquely striped sceptre, pursues Ganymede, an immature boy, who runs to right with head turned back, his himation hanging from his left shoulder and right forearm, a hoop and stick in his left hand. The sandals of Zeus are elaborately laced with red thongs; the 'gaiters', encasing his legs from ankle to calf, are painted with dabs of brown.1 Ganymede's hair is tied at the back by a red fillet with triple end. All four mantles are decorated with dots.

The identification of the woman on side A results from a process of elimination. The heroines of Zeus' amatory adventures are generally recognizable from some element of the story which the vase painter could not fail to represent; in this case she is not Europa or Danae or Semele, and therefore, in all probability, Aegina. The pursuit of Ganymede is commonly represented in red-figured vase-paintings, as, for example, on the fragmentary kantharos from the Acropolis referred to below, which is also by the Brygos painter. The frequent introduction of an altar into scenes of abduction has been noted by Jahn. 'According to him it means that the event is thought of as taking place at a religious festival, and it reflects the fact that on such occasions Greek girls had a liberty of public appearance not usually accorded to them.'2

490-480 B.C. A masterpiece of the Brygos painter.

Actual examples of the kantharos are comparatively rare among Attic black-figured and red-figured vases, though this style of drinking-cup is represented with great frequency in vase paintings of both styles as well as on coins. Tarbell suggested that 'the form, like several others used for pottery, was designed for metal, and that the representations in art were often intended to be understood as of metal'. Pfuhl regards this explanation as obvious.3 But the phenomenon is accounted for in a simpler way by Beazley: the kantharos, being the drinking-cup especially associated with Dionysos, was naturally depicted in bacchic scenes, whereas the small number of extant examples shows no more than that it was not in common use as a wine-cup at Athens. Moreover, the clay kantharoi which have been found in great numbers in Boeotia cannot be regarded as cheap substitutes for cups normally made of metal. On the other hand, it is certain that there were metal kantharoi, and that their forms influenced the clay examples. And our kantharos, with its unusually slender stem and thin, concave handles, certainly suggests such influence.

The history of the kantharos in Greek pottery remains to be written. Here it must suffice to mention the varieties of the type occurring in Attic black-figured and red-figured ware. Beazley, in Att. V., p. 4, distinguishes four types. Our vase belongs to his form A, which may be called A 1 to distinguish it from a type, A 2, with differently constructed handles. It can be traced back to the middle of the sixth century, for an early black- figured Attic kantharos in London4 and another in Berlin5 are exact parallels as regards shape. Another example is in Florence, Florence no. 3887; and among the black-figured fragments from the Acropolis there are some bits of kantharoi, though none is sufficiently preserved to establish its shape completely. In the red-figured period we have:

  • (1) Two fragments of Epiktetan kantharoi from the Acropolis, F 3 and F 7. Beazley, Att. V., p. 27, nos. 39, 40.
  • (2) Boston 95.61. Signed by Nikosthenes and decorated by the Nikosthenes painter. Att. V., p. 43, no. 3; drawing of the shape in G.G.V., p. 161, no. 120, our fig. 12. Flat handles.
  • (3) Petrograd, Stieglitz Museum. By the Nikosthenes painter, Att. V., p. 43, no. 2.
  • (4) The kantharos here published. Concave handles.
  • (5) Fragments of a kantharos from the Acropolis, F 5 and F 13 bis. Certainly of the same shape, also with Zeus pursuing Ganymede, and also by the Brygos painter. Att. V., p. 181, no. 75.
  • (6) Paris, Cab. Méd. 849. By the Penthesilea painter. Att. V., p. 277, no. 59. Photo. Giraudon 8092-3. Concave handles, as on no. 5.
  • (7-9) Free-style examples. e. g. Stackelberg, Die Graeber der Hellenen, Pl. 24, 1-3. These have a fillet half-way down the stem.
The kantharos in Boston with the signature of Hieron, son of Medon,6 illustrates the form A 2, which differs in details of the handle and foot, as shown in figure 13. The handles are flat, connected with the lip by a bridge, and furnished near the bottom with a spur. Both bridge and spur help the drinker to secure a firm grip. The stem is heavier, and usually composed of two concave members meeting in a ridge. Very like this is a kantharos by the same hand (Amymone painter) in London, London E 155.7 The chief difference is that the ridge half-way down the stem is replaced by a fillet and there is another fillet at the junction of cup and stem. Five other kantharoi of the same general type are noted by Beazley: (1) Collection B. et C., Pl. 23, 172 (the stem and foot suspected by Beazley of being alien). (2) London E 157. Corpus, III. 1 c, Pl. 34, 2 a-b; Salzmann, Nécropole de Camiros, Pl. 59. Time of the Eretria painter. (3) Bologna 467. Zannoni, Gli Scavi della Certosa di Bologna, Pl. 69, figs. 9, 17, and 18. (4) Louvre, Louvre CA 1587. Shuvalov painter. (5) London E 156. Corpus, III. 1 c, Pl. 34, 1 a-c; Jahreshefte, viii. 1905, p. 25, fig. 1. Among the undecorated kantharoi found in Boeotia those signed by 'Teisias the Athenian' furnish an interesting variation from this type.8 A drawing of one of them is given in figure 14.9 The heavy handles, which are triangular in section, have bridges, but no spurs; and the stem has a moulding instead of a sharp ridge. These kantharoi are of admirable workmanship, solidly proportioned, and evidently designed for actual use. The flattened tops of the handles afford comfortable and safe resting-places for the thumbs of the drinker.10 Related also to form A 2 are the undecorated Attic kantharoi without stems, illustrated in figure 15.11 Form B is illustrated by a kantharos in Munich, Munich 2560, decorated by the Amymone painter.12 As shown in figure 16 (after Lau, Die griechischen Vasen, Pl. 34, 3) it has a low stem and handles hardly rising above the lip. Beazley, Vases in Poland, p. 32, note 1, lists six examples of the type, and figures the kantharos in Goluchow on Plate 29.13

Another type, C, exists in two well-known specimens — the kantharos in Boston, Boston 00.334, signed by Nikosthenes,14 and that in Brussels with the signature of Douris.15 The former is shown in figure 17. A third example, decorated by the Nikosthenes painter, is in London.16

Form D, the low, stemless kantharos illustrated in figure 18 (after Lau, Pl. 34, 2), is represented by six examples, 'all Attic, and all red-figured; running from about 480 to 420.'1718


AJA 7 (1903), p. 240; R. Carpenter, AJA 25 (1921), p. 23, fig. 3; Richter 1923, p. 23, fig. 30; Richter & Milne 1935, pp. 25-26, fig. 167; ARV, pp. 254 (no. 136), 956; Lane 1948, p. 48, pl. 76a; MIT 1950, p. 80, fig. 20; K. Schefold, Gymnasium 61 (1954), pp. 286-287, pl. 9; S. Howard and F. P. Johnson, AJA 58 (1954), p. 198; Caskey & Beazley, II, p. 100, no. 17; Ghali-Kahil 1955, p. 70, note 5; Sichtermann 1955, p. 76, no. 29, pl. 2, 3; Levi & Stenico 1956, p. 11, fig. 5; EAA, II, p. 200 (S. Stucchi); H. Sichtermann, AntK 2 (1959), p. 13, note 41; ARV2, p. 381, no. 182; MFA, Illustrated Handbook, 1964, pp. 58-59, illus.; Herbert 1964, p. 62; B. A. Sparkes, JHS 87 (1967), p. 124; Cambitoglou 1968, pp. 8, 16, 35, pl. 3, fig. 1; C. Vermeule, in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Western Art (Japanese ed., 1969), pp. 154-155 (illus.), pl. 22 (color); ibid., 1971 (English ed.), pp. 13, 165, no. 22, pl. 22 (color); Para., pp. 366 (no. 182), 368; Hoffmann 1971, p. 121, fig. 97; Wegner 1973, pp. 167-168, 182-183; E. R. Knauer, 1973, 125 BWPr, p. 24, note 53; K. Schefold, 1974, in Mélanges Mansel, I, p. 56; Schefold 1975, pp. 87, 93-94, pl. 6, 2; Folsom 1976, p. 120, pl. 24; MFA, Illustrated Handbook, 1976, pp. 90-91, illus.; D. A. Amyx, Arch News (Tallahassee) 8 (1979), pp. 100, 113, note 11; Kaempf-Dimitriadou 1979, pp. 5, 8, 16, 22-23, 45, 48, 76 (no. 1), 93 (no. 204), pl. 1; idem, AntK 22 (1979), p. 52; Vermeule 1979, pp. 166-167, fig. 18; Brommer 1980, pp. 45 (no. B 10), 47 (no. B 9); LIMC, I, 1, pp. 368 (no. 1), 370, I, 2, pl. 281, illus. (S. Kaempf-Dimitriadou); Schefold 1981, pp. 11-13, 191, 211, 330-331, 362, figs. 3-4; Vermeule 1982, pp. 132, 147, 225, 462-463, fig. 206; J.-J. Maffre, RA 1982, pp. 197 (note 10), 212; Beazley Addenda 1, pp. 112-113; Metzger and Sicre 1984, pp. 86-87, color illus.; Keuls 1985, pp. 51, 53, figs. 31-32; C. Sourvinou-Inwood, BICS 32 (1985), pp. 126, 138, note 31; C. M. Edwards, AJA 90 (1986), p. 308, notes 3, 6; D. Williams, AA 1987, p. 676; A. Calinescu, in W. Rudolph and A. Calinescu, eds., 1988, Ancient Art from the V. G. Simkhovitch Collection, Bloomington, Indiana University Art Museum, p. 154, under no. 143; LIMC, IV, 1, p. 156, no. 8, IV, 2, pl. 76 (H. Sichtermann); Beazley Addenda 2, p. 227; Arafat 1990, pp. 69-70, 80, 85, 180, 189 (no. 3.4), 192 (no. 3.52), pl. 19a-b.


1 Tarbell suggests that they may be bandages wound about the legs and held in place by cords (indicated in black). He compares the Brygan cup London E 69 (Att. V. p. 176, no. 7), the amphora London E 264 (Att. V., p. 251) and London E 276 (Att. V., p. 387, no. 1), and the pelike London E 361. The seated youth Phanas, in the cup published below, Pl. XIV, no. 35 (Boston 98.933), wears similar bandages. Cf. also the gaiters of the youth at the right on the lekythos, no. 65, Pl. XXX (Boston 95.48).

2 Tarbell, p. 4, note 4, quoting Jahn, Archäologische Aufsätze, p. 149.

3 Malerei und Zeichnung der Griechen, i, p. 304, 314.

4 London 94.7-18.1. J.H.S. xviii, 1898, p. 289, fig. 3; Pls. XVI, XVII.

5 Berlin 1737. Gerhard Etr. u. Kamp. Vasenb., Pl. 13, 3. Schaal, Griech. Vasen., S.f., Pl. XVIII, 32.

6 Boston 98.832. Hoppin, ii, p. 50, no. 8; Pollak, Zwei Vasen aus der Werkstatt Hierons, p. 28, Pls. 4, 5; G.G.V., p. 164, no. 122. Beazley, Att. V., p. 319, Amymonemaler, no. 4.

7 F.R. iii, Pl. 163, 2; Att. V., p. 319, below, no. 5; Corpus, III. 1 c, Pl. 33, 2 a-d.

8 Hoppin, Black-figured Vases, p. 347, nos. 1-3. He omits three other examples listed by Burrows and Ure, B.S.A. xiv, p. 292, nos. 132-5, fig. 18.

9 Athens 2239, from Tanagra. Hoppin, no. 1; Nicole, Cat. Suppl. no. 1150, p. 267. Height to tops of handles, 0.239 m.; height of lip, 0.169 m.; width (handle to handle), 0.308 m.; diameter of lip, 0.187 m.; diameter of foot, 0.093 m.

10 Kantharoi of the form A 2 are represented on a number of coins. Tarbell cites B.M. Cat. Coins, 'Central Greece', Pls. VII, 3; XIII, 10, 11, 16 (Boeotia); 'Thessaly, &c.', Pl. XII, 13, 19, 20 (Corcyra). Other examples in Anson, Numismata Graeca, Pl. VIII.

11 Boston, Boston 01.8081, after G.G.V., p. 166, no. 123. Another example in Boston, Boston 92.2611, is of inferior workmanship. An early one, also painted black, is in Oxford, Corpus, III. 1, Pl. 48, 34. There are also, Beazley informs me, two decorated specimens, one in Athens, Athens 1236, Collignon-Couve Cat. 1596. Amazonomachy, about 430-420, the other in London (patterns only), Corpus, III. 1 c, Pl. 32, 15. See also Corpus Oxford, III. 1, Pl. 52, 12.

12 Att. V., p. 319, no. 6.

13 The two examples in London are now figured in Corpus, III. 1c, Pl. 31, 8, and Pl. 34, 3 a-b.

14 Att. V., p. 43, no. 1; Hoppin, ii, p. 226, no. 3; G.G.V., p. 160, no. 119.

15 Corpus Brussels, Cinquantenaire, III. 1 c, Pls. 5, 6; Hoppin, i, p. 232, no. 13; Pfuhl, iii, fig. 453.

16 London E 154. Corpus, III. 1 c, Pl. 33, 1 a-d. Beazley, Att. V., p. 43, no. 4.

17 Beazley, Vases in Poland, p. 28; the list there given in note 3. In the addenda, p. 80, Beazley calls attention to representations of this type of kantharos on late archaic and early classical coins of Sicilian Naxos (e.g. Hill, Select Greek Coins, Pl. 38, 1) and on fourth-century vases. The metal prototype is given by the silver kantharos in Sofia (Filow, Die archaische Nekropole von Trebenischte, p. 30).

18 (From Addenda to Part I) No. 17. A, N.Y. Shapes p. 20, 2 = Richter and Milne fig. 167; B, Richter The Craft of Athenian Pottery p. 23 fig. 30; B, International Studio Feb. 1927 p. 25, 1 (J. S. Green, jr.); B, Lane Greek Pottery pl. 76, a: ARV. pp. 254 and 956, Brygos Painter no. 136.

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