163. 99.539 STEMLESS CUP PLATE XCIXDiameter 0.165, height 0.055. From the collection of Adolphe van Branteghem (no. 84). Burl. 1888 pl. 9=Fröhner Brant. pl. 29; A.D. 1 pl. 59, above (Conze), whence Hoppin ii p. 477, Swindler fig. 282, (A-B) Kekule Die Geburt der Helena pp. 692-3 figs. 1-2; I, ibid. pl. 6; A, Moreau Das Trierer Kornmarktmosaik pl. 11, 1. I, Perithoos. A-B, Leda and the Egg. About 430-425 B.C., by the Xenotimos Painter (ARV.1 p. 752, foot; ARV.2 p. 1142). The vase is said to have been found together with a stemless cup of another shape — a sort of cup-skyphos which is now in Berlin.1 The provenience was at first given as Capua, but later as Sorrento. Ours is a shallow, thin-walled, stemless cup. The handles are cup-handles, and the inside of them is reserved. There is no rim-reserve. The lower part of the bowl is turned, tooled off from the rest of the bowl with a jog, so as to form a kind of base. The side of the broad foot is triple — a torus lipped both above and below. The underside of the foot is modelled, and black except for the small central disk, which is reserved and decorated with a dot within two circles; even the resting-surface is black. The shape, all but small details, is the same as in earlier vases, from the neighbourhood of the Sotades Painter, such as the stemless cup by the Hippacontist Painter in Boston.2 It is in Sotadean surroundings that two favourite features of stemless cups are first found: the jog-base, and the modelled underfoot. Cups of this shape often have a lip inside the bowl, but ours has not. Our stemless bears the signature of the potter, on the right of B, in white, ΞΕΝΟΤΙΜΟΣ and below it ΕΠΟΙΕΣΕΝ. It is the only signature of Xenotimos. At one time there were thought to be traces of the name on the Berlin stemless found with ours, but this proved to be an illusion. Inside, within a circle, Perithoos sits on a chair, dressed in chlamys, petasos, sandals and stockings, holding a pair of spears in his left hand, his right hand resting on his left knee. He has a full beard, and longish hair covering the nape. The petasos is secured by a band, the back part of which shows below it. Relief-lines for most of the contour, also for the ground-line; brown for the minor markings of the body. White for the inscription, ΠΕΡΙΘΟΣ. This, the usual writing of the name on Attic vases, may be either for Περίθους or for Πειριθους, and Περίθους is the more probable, as the proper Attic form, used by Sophocles (Soph. OC 1594) and also known from the name of the Attic deme Περιθοῖδαι (in Πειρίθοος the impure diphthong is of course epic lengthening). Without the inscription, no one would have taken this for Perithoos. It is a very slight representation of the stark hero, doomed for a fearful transgression to sit in Hades for ever. In the late fifth century these neat little figures are common everywhere, in relief sculpture as well as on vases: looking like children, or children dressed up. In our vase nearly all the figures are very short, with big heads: a special reason for this is the shallowness of the space to be decorated, as earlier in the black-figure, cups of the Little Masters: 'with normal proportions the figures would look too tenuous'.3 There are only two other Attic pictures of Perithoos in Hades, both earlier than ours. On the New York calyx-krater from which the Nekyia Painter has received his name, Herakles, guided by Hermes, approaches Theseus and Perithoos.4 On the early classic lekythos by the Alkimachos Painter in Berlin, Herakles takes Perithoos by the hand and tries to tug him off the rock.5 In both pictures, as in ours, Perithoos wears light travelling costume — chlamys, petasos, sandals and stockings, and holds a spear or a pair of spears. To the other representations, collected elsewhere,6 we must now add the earliest, in the sixth-century relief, part of a bronze shield-band, published, with admirable commentary, by Kunze.7 Theseus and Perithoos usually sit on rocks, but in the bronze relief on a proper throne. In the Nekyia of Polygnotos they sat on thrones (Paus. 10.29.9), and in the epitome of Apollodoros (Apollod. E.1.24) they sit on 'the throne of Lethe'. Panyassis, quoted by Pausanias, might appear to identify 'thrones' and 'rock': he may have thought of rock-carved thrones. The magic seat, from which one cannot rise again, recurs in the story of the Return of Hephaistos; and I am moved to transcribe a passage from John Evelyn's Diary (1644: i p. 123) where he tells what he saw in the Villa Borghese at Rome: 'They showed us also a chair that catches fast any who sits down in it, so as not to be able to stir out, by certain springs concealed in the arms and back thereof, which at sitting down surprises a man on the sudden, locking him in by the arms and thighs, after a true treacherous Italian guise.' The painter of the Boston vase has substituted what looks like an ordinary chair, of klismos kind, for the magic throne. It was suggested earlier in these pages, (iii p. 57; Boston 98.931) that there may possibly be another Attic picture of Perithoos in Hades, inside the Telephos cup (Plate LXXXVIII). The moment would be the same as in the late-fifth century three-figure relief and on the Apulian volute-krater, fourth century, in Munich (Munich 3297): Theseus' farewell to his friend.8 Outside our vase, the subject occupies both halves, although interrupted by the palmettes at the handles. On A, the altar — of Zeus as we know from Polion's picture in Bonn9 — , and on it the egg, and an eagle. Tyndareos, white-haired and white-bearded, stands near the altar, wearing a long sleeveless chiton, a himation, a wreath of long leaves, and holding a sceptre in his left hand. The right leg is bent and frontal. The collar-bones show above the chiton. The hair covers the nape. The name is misspelt ΤΕΥΔΑΡΕΩΣ. Perhaps the writer had Teukros in his mind. On the other side of the altar Leda, ΛΕΔΑ, starts away with arms extended, looking back, as if surprised and alarmed. She wears a peplos, with overfall and short kolpos, below which the ends of the girdle are seen. The peplos has a pair of stripes down the right side, and is ἀκτινωτός, has a ray-border below. The hair is gathered up at the back, in simple fashion. The altar is in the foreground: Tyndareos and Leda are shown as behind it. Another woman stands behind Tyndareos, with her right hand raised, taking more quiet note of the occurrence. It is Klytaimestra, ΚΛΥΤΑΙΜΕΣΤΡΑ, daughter of Tyndareos and Leda. She wears chiton and himation. A fillet passes thrice round her head, and the hair is done up into a ball. The three female figures on the other half are a pair and a singleton. From position and attitude the right-hand one plainly belongs to the scene on A, looking at the egg and the eagle, her left arm showing awareness, her right arm akimbo. The hair is bobbed, clearing the shoulders. The peplos, with apoptygma and kolpos, is the same as Leda's, except that it has no ray-border. The name is not given, the artist having chosen to put the signature, ΞΕΝΟΤΙΜΟΣ ΕΠΟΙΕΣΕΝ, in the space to right of the head. The other two women converse with each other, their backs turned to the scene. They form one of those 'side-groups' that are common on vases: like the Tyche and Heimarmene on a contemporary vase, the pointed amphoriskos in Berlin;10 or much earlier, the side-group in black-figure Judgements of Paris.11 Kleopatra (ΚΛΕΟΤΡΑ with two letters omitted, perhaps by a sort of haplography with Τ and Π), stands in almost the same attitude as Tyndareos on A. She wears chiton and himation, and her hair is done up into a ball behind. Phylonoe, ΦΥΛΟΝΟΕ, faces her, bending forward, with her right foot set on a rock and her chin resting on her left hand. A broad band or sling, decorated with a row of lotus-buds, passes round her head. She wears a chiton, with a long kolpos, overgirt. Kleopatra's chiton has the same kolpos, overgirt, but the lower part of it is concealed by the himation. Phylonoe is mentioned by Apollodorus (Apollod. 3.10.6) as a daughter of Leda; and the name was already restored by Newton on the black-figured amphora by the Edinburgh Painter in the British Museum, where Polydeukes and Castor are seen in company with Tyndareos and a woman whose name ends in ...ΟΕ.12 Several Kleopatras are known in Greek legend, the most famous being the wife of Meleager: but none of them were related to Tyndareos or Leda.13 The woman between Klytaimestra and Phylonoe should be a daughter of Leda and Tyndareos like them: should be, in fact, Timandra, who is named on Makron's Alexandros cup in Berlin.14 Her stance is like that of Kleopatra and Tyndareos, but has more swing, the right knee being more bent, and the left hip thrown out. Helen and Klytaimestra appear together, both on their best behaviour, in the household scene on a red-figured pyxis, by a follower of Douris, in the British Museum;15 the third figure there is another Argive heroine, Iphigeneia; the fourth is labelled Kassandra, but the artist may perhaps have been thinking of Timandra. The patterns on the altar — the maeander below the volutes, and the cyma above the base — are in brown lines. For the upper furnishings of the altar let us turn to the bell-krater with the same subject, by Polion, in Bonn,16 and a bell-krater in Oxford.17 There we see an insulating layer of cinders mixed with mortar — indicated by dots — , and above it a slab of fire-brick. In our vase we have the same members, but here it is the rectangular slab that is dotted, and not the layer below it. A somewhat similar slab appears on a fourth-century calyx-krater in Athens.18 In the figures, most of the contours are relief-lines, but there is not much relief-contour in the floral designs. A list of vases having the same theme, Leda and the Egg, is given in EVP. pp. 39-42, with references to previous studies, the most important of which are by Kekule and Chapouthier.19 The Attic vases nos. 1-11 and 13 in my list, to which the Leipsic fragment appended to no. 13 may be added, have our subject; the Etruscan no. 16 has almost the same; the Italiote, nos. 14 and 15, shows a later moment, Helen issuing from the egg; while the Etruscan nos. 17 and 18, like the mirrors described in EVP. pp. 115-16, deal with the transference of the egg, and an Etruscan stamnos in Boston, if my interpretation is correct, with a neighbouring point in the story.20 The earliest representation of the subject has come to my notice since the list in Etruscan Vase-painting was drawn up. It is on two fragments of an Attic red-figured pyxis (type A), from Locri, in Reggio. (Pyxides usually have feminine subjects as one might expect).21 On one fragment, an altar, and on it the child Helen creeping out of a half egg-shell; then, on the right, the legs of a woman in chiton and himation — Leda — standing to left. On the other fragment, an open hand extended to right, then the head, to right, and shoulders, of a woman; between, [Κ]ΑΛΟΝ. These may be parts of fleeing figures moving to left and looking round: if so, they would come from the left-hand part of the picture if it were unrolled. The date is little later, if at all, than 450, and this is the only Attic picture in which Helen is seen issuing from the egg. According to the version of the legend given in the Cypria, and current in Attica, Leda was not the mother of Helen, but her foster-mother, the mother being Nemesis. It is not known that in the Cypria the egg was laid at Rhamnus: this may have been an Attic addition. As to how the egg came into Leda's care, our authorities differ, and the story may have been told in different ways. According to Sappho, Leda 'found' the egg; Hyginus preserves a tradition that Hermes took it from Rhamnus to Sparta and threw it into Leda's lap as she sat; and Hermes appears in two of the Attic pictures and in an Etruscan which is probably copied from an Attic (nos. 10, 13, and 16). In other Etruscan drawings, on vases or mirrors, it is sometimes Hermes, sometimes Castor, who gives the egg to Leda or Tyndareos. In Apollodorus a shepherd finds it and brings it to Leda. We conjecture that in the Attic version it was Hermes who brought the egg from Rhamnus to Sparta. There he may have handed it to Leda, or planted it where Leda, or Castor, or another would find it. None of our authors mention the altar of Zeus, which is the centre of the scene in the Attic pictures, in the Italiote, and in one of the Etruscan, and we have to reconstruct the story as best we may from the pictures themselves. It has usually been supposed that the moment represented is when Leda sees the egg for the first time; but Chapouthier has recently argued that it is a later moment: Leda has already received the egg, and now brings it to the altar of Zeus to hatch out. I do not find it easy to choose between these two theories, and possibly the moment is not the same in all the pictures: but I am inclined to agree with Chapouthier's main contention. A reasonable course for the story to follow would be that Hermes brought the egg to Leda, with instructions to keep it safe, and after a certain interval to place it on the altar of Zeus and see what would happen. It would of course be more satisfactory if we could be positive that on the Etruscan stamnos in Palermo22 Leda was putting the egg down and not picking it up. Again, on the Boston stemless the alarm of Leda might suggest that she was seeing the egg for the first time. One might answer that what alarms her is not the egg but the eagle. This answer would not apply, however, to another vase on which Leda is in the same attitude, the Vienna bell-krater by the Nikias Painter, no. 9 in my list,23 for there is no eagle. Thirdly, the gesture of Leda in most of the Attic pictures is really rather like that of one who sees a strange object for the first time. Ours is the only picture in which the eagle is seen standing on the altar: in the others where it appears it is flying down towards the altar. Kekule suggested that the eagle was about to pick the egg open and so assist the child to come forth, and the thought has been ingeniously developed by Chapouthier.24 I do not feel sure about this; on the other hand I find it hard to agree with Picard that the only reason for the presence of the eagle is to show us that the altar is the altar of Zeus.25 Is it not a sign sent by Zeus to prove to Leda and the family that he is the father of Helen: like the σήματα spoken of in the Choephoroi of Aeschylus (Aesch. Lib. 259), like the σᾶμα given by Zeus to Minos in Bacchylides (Bacchyl. 17.52-71), like the ἐσσί μοι υἱός of Zeus to Kastor in Pindar (Pind. N. 10.80), or the οὗτος ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου elsewhere? Chapouthier takes the eagle for Zeus himself: surely it is Zeus' messenger only? Yet a curious monument, discovered since Chapouthier wrote, shows that in late antiquity the eagle was regarded, by one artist at least, as Zeus himself. A mosaic at Treves, some six centuries later than the last of our pictures, has the egg, the altar, Leda, and Tyndareos.26 The artist has adopted the later version of the story, in which the egg contained not Aelena only but Castor and Polus as well, and the three embryos are seen neatly packed inside it. He has made Lyda naked; he has forgotten the name of Tyndareos and substituted Agamemnon; and he names the eagle Iobis, which must be nominative and not genitive. One respect has been noticed in which the Boston vase is unique, and there is another. In many of the pictures the Dioscuri are present: our painter shows the daughters instead of the sons. He has feminized the subject: it is not 'A sister for Polydeukes and Castor', but 'A sister for Klytaimestra'. The new Reggio vase may have agreed in this particular; but not enough remains for one to be sure. With the exception of the Reggio fragments, which, as we said above, cannot be much later, if at all, than 450, the representations of the Egg begin about 430, and none of the Attic pictures are much later than 400. It is thought that the sudden popularity of the subject may be connected with the extension of the cult of Nemesis at Rhamnus, where the goddess was now provided with a new temple and a magnificent image. The relief on the base of the statue represented not the beginning of Leda's guardianship, but the very end of it, Leda presenting her fosterling, full-grown and radiant, to the mother. No folklore there, but simultaneously the picturesque fairy-tale took a new lease of life, to remain a favourite throughout antiquity. This is the only vase with the signature of the potter Xenotimos. We said at the begin- ning that another stemless cup, of different type, now in Berlin, was stated to have been found together with ours. It has been thought to be by the same hand: I have never felt certain of this, but the style is indeed very similar. The proportions of the figures are different and more normal, but that is because the picture-space is not so low. The floral decoration is very like. The subject is again a feminine one: Nereus, with a selection of his many daughters. On one half, he sits on a rock, Hilithya shows her father a dolphin, Eulimene draws her himation about her; on the other, Psamathe is seated, Ploto brings her a hare, and Thetis a wreath. The style of the two vases is not very far remote from the Washing Painter, but not so near that one can speak of anything like his manner or his school.
Burlington 1888, pl. 10 (incorrectly in Caskey & Beazley, III as pl. 9); Robert, AA 1889, p. 143; AJA 13 (1909), p. 211; P. Jacobsthal, MetMusStud 5 (1934), p. 124, note 39; Beazley 1947, p. 40, no. 2; Metzger 1951, p. 277, no. 17; Robinson 1956, p. 20 (as a pyxis); Brommer 1956, p. 131, no. B 4; Brommer 1960, pp. 168 (no. B 4), 362 (no. B 2); Neumann 1965, p. 198, note 406; E. Vermeule 1965, fig. 4B; A. I. Boltounova, 1966, in Mèlanges offerts à Kazimierz Michałowski, Warsaw, Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, p. 290; Para., p. 455, no. 1; Henle 1973, pp. 34, 175 (note 20); Brommer 1973, pp. 221 (no. B 3), 401 (no. B 2), 514 (no. B 2); P. M. Fraser, 1977, Rhodian Funerary Monuments, Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press, p. 102, note 91; M. Pensa, 1977, Rappresentazioni dell' Oltretomba nella Ceramica Apula, Rome, L'Erma di Bretschneider, p. 52, note 156; Loeb 1979, pp. 188-189, 345, no. He 2; Vermeule 1979, p. 130, fig. 4; Beschi 1982, p. 381 (M. Paoletti); Beazley Addenda 1, p. 164; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 334; Arafat 1990, pp. 58-59, 166, 188, no. 2.30; LIMC, V, 1, p. 182, under no. 3515 (J. Boardman); Shapiro-Lapatin 1992, pp. 114, 116, pl. 28:a.