Bowdoin 1913.2RED-FIGURE EYE-CUP (TYPE A)
Lent by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art; gift of E. P. Warren (1913.2)
Height: 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm.); Diameter: 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm.)
Broken and repaired in several places; some restoration around handles. Under foot, graffito.
Inside: hoplitodromos. An athlete wearing greaves runs to the left carrying a shield (device: raven) and a Corinthian helmet. A reserved line forms the tondo. The absence of offensive armor indicates that this is not a warrior but a hoplitodromos participating in the race in armor. Side A: between eyes, a jumper. A nude athlete strides to the left carrying jumping weights (halteres). Side B: between eyes, a jumper. A nude athlete carrying halteres bends down in preparation for a jump. Above is inscribed ΚΑΛΟΣ (beautiful). The eyes have well-marked tear ducts and above them eyebrows. At the handles are palmettes. Those on side A are shut and have sixteen fronds; those on side B are open and have nine fronds. The ornament, therefore, combines the palmette type characteristic of Beazley's earlier Class I and later Class III. Red: a ring of each eye, the inscription.
Attributed to the Bowdoin-Eye Painter, his name piece [Beazley] ca. 520 - 500 B. C. The eye-cup became a favorite form during this period. The eyes, though mainly decorative, may originally have had an apotropaic meaning. Two athletes are pictured preparing for their events: the race in armor and the broad jump with weights.