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So Sias

*Swsi/as), a vase-painter, whose name is inscribed on a beautiful cylix, which was discovered at Vulci, in 1828, and is now in the Royal Museum at Berlin (No. 1030). This work is one of the finest extant specimens of Greco-Etruscan vase-painting. Writers on ancient art have compared it to the productions of Polygnotus, on account of the character visible in the figures, or to those of Dionysius on account of its minute and elaborate finish. At all events it belongs to one of the best periods of Grecian art, and from the manner in which the figures are adapted to the shape of the vessel, as well as from the whole style of the composition, it is pronounced by the best judges to be manifestly an original work and not a mere copy from some greater artist. The subject represented on the inner side of the vase is taken from the mythical adventures of Achilles and Patroclus. Achilles, who had been instructed by Cheiron in the healing art, is binding up a wound which Patroclus has received, as is supposed. in the battle against the Mysian Telephus. which was the first great victory gained by the two heroes. The meaning of the composition on the outer side is more doubtful. It consists chiefly of figures of divinities, and has been variously interpreted as the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, or some other marriage subject, or, in connection with the other side of the vase, as a group of divinities assisting as spectators of the exploits of Achilles and his friend. The vase is supposed to have been a bridal present. It is engraved in the Monumenti Inediti of the Archaeological Institute of Rome, vol i. pl. 24, and in Gerhard's Trinkschalen des Kon. Mus. pl. 6.

Respecting the artist we have no further information, but the critics have of course indulged in sundry conjectures. Raoul-Rochette supposes that he may have been a Sicilian, from the frequency with which names beginning in Sos are found among the Greeks of Sicily; a point of some importance in connection with the theory formerly advanced by him, that the painters of Etruscan vases were generally Sicilian Greeks; but that theory he now renounces. Others have seen a connection between the medicinal subject of the inner side of the vase and the root-meaning of the artist's name. (Müller, Archäol. d. Kunst. § 143, n. 3; R. Rochette, Lettre à M. Schorn, pp. 59, 60, 2d. ed.; Nagler, Künstler Lexicon, s. v.)


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