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Baltimore, Hopkins AIA B8

Kylix by Douris 500-490 B.C.

B 8. Baltimore Society AIA, formerly Hartwig Collection. "Chiusi." Ht, 9.5 cm; diam with handles, 30.4 cm; diam of rim, 23.2 cm; diam foot, 9.6 cm. Mended.

Two warriors in left profile step on left leg, right leg extended, right arm upraised with spear. Male in foreground wears chiton, cuirass with star on shoulder lappet, greaves, and crested Corinthian helmet with upraised cheekpieces and dot band at base of crest. Over his left arm is shield with dotted rim and emblem consisting of left profile of lion head. Scythian companion wears tight-fitting, long-sleeved, long-legged garment alternating black and reserved bands; on top is sleeveless pleated tunic. He wears a Phrygian cap with two lappets by left ear; open gorytos hangs at left side. Both warriors are barefoot. Inscribed in field: ΧΑΙΡΕΣΤΡΑΤΟΣ ΚΑΛΟΣ.

Relief contour throughout, except for underside of toes of left feet and reserved outline of Scythian's hair. Dilute glaze for folds of Scythian's tunic. Added purple for pads under greaves and lettering. Border consists of rightward meander.

Douris, one of the most prominent of all red-figure painters, was active during the first three decades of the fifth century.1 He signed forty vases and has been assigned about two hundred fifty more. Most of these pieces are cups, but Douris worked on other shapes as well, both in white ground and red figure. He was also a competent potter and signed one kantharos in Brussels as both potter and painter.2 Despite his familiarity with the potter's wheel, Douris preferred to paint vessels fashioned by Python,3 and, as a young artist, by Euphronios, for whom Onesimos also worked.4

Beazley divided the painting career of Douris into four periods and assigned our cup to the first phase, dating about 500-490 B.C..5 In these years Douris's style was still in a formative stage, and his admiration for Chairestratos, as demonstrated by the inscriptions, steadfast.

The picture in the tondo shows a hoplite accompanied by a member of the Scythian tribe, which lived to the north of Greece. Scythians served as archers in the Athenian army from about 530 B.C. to the end of the sixth century, but after this date the Persians, who had by now acquired control of Scythia, curtailed emigration to Athens,6 and the few Scythians who did settle in Athens were primarily employed as policemen. For this reason representations of Scythian warriors after 500 B.C. were based on memory rather than observation, and, not surprisingly, the depictions are often inaccurate. For example, the striped garment our Scythian wears appeared on representations of Scythians from about 510 B.C. and thus is probably a reliable rendition of the actual dress,7 but the chiton and spear are surely artistic license. On the other hand, Douris has correctly coupled the Scythian with a hoplite; we know that hoplites traditionally advanced under cover of Scythian arrows.8 Douris portrayed Scythians on three later vases of his third and fourth periods, and these depictions are, not unexpectedly, even less accurate.9

The lion head on the hoplite's shield is a common image in Achaemenian art, especially among gold appliqués, or bracteae.10 The motif first appears in Attic vasepainting at the end of the sixth century, undoubtedly as a result of increased contact with the Persian world, which erupted in the invasions of 490 and 480 B.C.11


P. Hartwig, RömMitt 2 (1887):168, no. 5; Hartwig 1893, 212, pl. 22.2; Klein 1898, 99, no. 10; FR, 251-52, no. 1; Beazley 1918, 97, no. 7; Hoppin 1919, vol. I, 277, no. 45; Beazley 1925, 200, no. 14; Philippart 1928, 50; CVA, USA fasc. 6, Robinson fasc. 2, 15-16, pl. XI; ARV2, 442, no. 215.

1 ARV2, 425-51; J. D. Beazley, JHS 58 (1938):267; Para., 374-76; Muscarella 1974, no. 59, potting attributed to Euphronios; Dörig 1975, no. 205; Boardman 1975, 137-39.

2 ARV2, 425, and 445, no. 256.

3 ARV2, 426-27; Bloesch 1940, 96-101.

4 Bloesch 1940, 70.

5 ARV2, 425-26.

6 Vos 1963, 60, 68, 87.

7 Vos 1963, 12, 40, 51, 81; Schauenburg 1975, 90 (1975): 107, 111.

8 Vos 1963, 72-73.

9 ARV2, 432, no. 55, and 433, no. 63, from period 3. No. 130 (p. 438) is from period 4. For this last, see Schauenburg 1975, 111.

10 Ghirshman 1964, 380-81, 439, nos. 553-55.

11 See a lion head as shield device on kylix by the Foundry Painter (ca. 495 B.C.) in Mü nzen, vol. 13 (1961):84, no. 159, pl. 51.

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