Worcester 1935.148RED-FIGURE PYXIS (TYPE A)
Lent by the Worcester Art Museum (1935.148)
Height: 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm.)
Broken and repaired; missing pieces restored; missing handle.
Mistresses and maids. Six women are grouped in three pairs; in each, a maid attends her mistress. A woman relaxes in a chair, her feet on a padded foot stool. Her maid approaches carrying a chest. Next, a woman holds out the mirror she has been using to put the finishing touches on her toilet. Her maid approaches and prepares to take something out of the wicker box she carries. Between the two is a chest resting on animal paw supports, with balls of wool in it. Suspended behind the maid is a decorated sakkos. Lastly, a seated woman seems to be directing her maid to put away the fillet and toilet vase (plemochoe) she carries. Below are rightward meanders, and above, egg pattern. Cover: four Erotes at play. The first pair engage in a cock fight. Each holds a cock and prepares to set him loose. The second pair start a hare for coursing. One Eros holds his pet while the other with his foot on a rock prepares to give the signal for the start. Behind him are a stake and ball. Around the handle are tongues, eggs, and dots; at the edge of the cover, a reserved band; on the projecting underside of the cover, reserved leaves with white berries.
Attributed to the Eretria Painter [Morgan] ca. 430 - 425 B. C. Although primarily a painter of cups, the Eretria Painter did his finest work on other small vases such as pyxides. Pyxides were made for women as boxes to hold jewelry, toilet articles, and other small objects. Their subject matter generally reflects their use; the main scene here is set in the women's quarters of a house and shows such typical paraphernalia as a chest, mirror, and plemochoe. Women at home at their toilet became a frequent subject after the middle of the fifth century. The Eretria Painter was especially fond of depicting women, and his delicacy of line and detailed drapery are well suited to the subject. The shading on the mirror in imitation of metal work and the careful depiction of the wicker work box show his interest in realistic detail.