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Composition and Style

As one can see on this amphora and others (for instance,


), Euthymides' preferred composition is three figures to a panel (in contrast to Phintias' four) with those at the sides acting as parentheses for the central figure, a tradition carried on by the Kleophrades Painter. This reduction allows the artist leeway for bigger, beefier figures who contort their bodies as they revel, so that the viewer is given profile, back and frontal views of the male anatomy. The simple arming scene on the obverse is repeated on another amphora in Munich (Munich 2308;



).1 Although the two youthful warriors are identical, on the first vase he is labeled Hektor and is accompanied by his parents, King Priam and Hecuba, while on the second he is named Thorykion and is flanked by archers in Scythian garb (

). Thorykion is otherwise unknown but since the word means "wearer of a breastplate", the name is certainly apt. He and Hektor both bend their heads downwards (

), in a pose favored by Euthymides, while they concentrate on fastening their cuirasses.

On an amphora attributed to Euthymides in the Louvre (Louvre G 44),2 one sees many of the characteristics of the artist's hand: the bowed head (

); the long, flat space between thumb and fingers (

), the evenly stacked drapery folds (

), and the palmette ornament with upward curling tendrils (


Euthymides' most successful composition is Theseus' abduction of Helen which covers both sides of an amphora in Munich (Munich 2309;


3. Theseus' hold on the young girl resembles a wrestling pose as he lifts her off the ground. Behind him another girl named Korone (the girls' names are actually interchanged) attempts to free Helen, while the fourth figure, Theseus' comrade Peirithoos, looks behind, presumably at the two girls racing along on the other side of the vase. Behind them is the only motionless figure, an older man, who, in Pioneer fashion, speaks the words: ΧΑΙΡΕΧΘΕΣΕΥΣ, "Greetings Theseus."

Euthymides' asymmetrical composition, wide-striding poses, flowing drapery, and backward glances contribute to the drama of the narrative, and the human element is conveyed by the tender touch of Helen's hand to her abductor's hair. It is tempting to compare this abduction with the earlier one by Phintias (Louvre G 42;

). Beazley assessed the latter as follows: "how fussy and petty, for all its scrupulous virtuosity, when it is placed beside the grandeur of Theseus and his bride."

1 ARV2, 26-27, 2 and 1620; Beazley Addenda 2, 156.

2 ARV2, 27, 3; Beazley Addenda 2, 156

3 ARV2, 27, 4 and 1620; Para., 323; Beazley Addenda 2, 156.

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