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Baltimore, Hopkins AIA B3

Kylix by Epiktetos 520-510 B.C.

B 3. Baltimore Society AIA, formerly Hartwig Collection. "Chiusi." Ht, 14.1 cm; diam rim, 32.8 cm; diam foot, 12.7 cm. Mended from many pieces. Foot is ancient but does not belong. A few parts along rim restored (before acquisition) with segments of another ancient kylix.

Tondo is bordered by narrow reserved band. Wreathed satyr reclines on a couch, which is indicated by narrow reserved band (fragments imprecisely assembled give inaccurate effect of bent line). His back is supported by a pillow decorated with three black bands crossed by two close-set lines. His legs are bent and upraised, with feet pressed against edge of tondo. With both hands and upraised right knee he raises pointed amphora to his lips. Inscribed beneath couch and in field above satyr's head: ΕΠΙΚΤΕΤΟΣ ΕΓΡΑΦΣΕΝ.

Relief contour throughout except for reserved contour of beard. Dilute glaze for inner markings. Added red for tail, wreath, lettering. Incised contour of hair at crown and nape.

Epiktetos was a prominent early red-figure painter who specialized in cups.1 He signed his name on forty vases and is accredited with sixty more, many of which are signed only with "egraphsen." Epiktetos also worked as a potter. He signed one vase as both potter and painter,2 and he wrote only "epoiesen" on other vases that we know he both potted and painted.3

Epiktetos worked for a number of potters, including Andocides, Nikosthenes, and Hischylos, for whom he painted bilingual cups. In his later years, Epiktetos painted for Pistoxenos, Pamphaios, and Python, and he undoubtedly came into contact with artists of the early fifth century, such as Douris (see Baltimore, Hopkins AIA B8, Baltimore, Hopkins AIA B9) and Makron (see Baltimore, Hopkins AIA B10).4

Epiktetos displays influence from black-figure vase-painting in his use of incision along the contour of the hair, but, in contrast to Phintias and other painters of the Pioneer Group, Epiktetos prefers the newer dilute glaze, rather than relief line, for the interiors of his figures. He is especially admired for the excellence of his tondo compositions, of which our example is a good illustration. The scene displays a sensitive balance of light and dark and an admirable skill in the handling of the satyr, who, as the cup is rotated, appears to stand and lean over the amphora.5 Also noteworthy is the skillful draughtsmanship of the face.

Our cup is probably an early work, since the proportions of the satyr are slender,6 the use of red is generous,7 and the profile of bowl and stem can be compared with those on cups by the potter Hischylos,8 with whom Epiktetos was associated early in his career. A later version of the same scene appeared on a kylix once in Rome; that cup was said by Beazley to be in the manner of Epiktetos and possibly by the artist himself.9


P. Hartwig, RömMitt 2 (1887):167, no. 1; P. Hartwig, Jdl 6 (1891):250-57, pl. V; P. Hartwig, Jdl 7 (1892): 118; Harrison & MacColl 1894, pl. IX.1; Beazley 1918, 14-16, fig. 7; Hoppin 1919, vol. I, 301, no. 2; Beazley 1925, 26, no. 20; Philippart 1928, 50; W. Kraiker, JdI 44 (1929):177, no. 33; CVA, USA fasc. 6, Robinson fasc. 2, 11-12, pls. I.3, II.3; D. K. Hill, JWalt 1 (1938):29, fig. 6; Buschor 1943, fig. 42; ARV2, 75, no. 56.

1 ARV2, 70-79; Para., 328-29; Boardman 1975, 57-59; J. D. Beazley, JHS 58 (1938):267.

2 ARV2, 78 no. 102 (Athens, Acr. 6, a plate).

3 He also signed one vase, which he both potted and painted, with the word "egraphsen" (ARV2, 76, no. 78). Another bears the words "egraphsen" and "epoiesen" (ARV2, 73, no. 31).

4 ARV2, 70; M. Robertson, JHS 85 (1965):100; Boardman 1975, 59.

5 Beazley [JHS 58 (1938):267]notes that the vertical axis of a tondo composition is rarely at right angles with the handles.

6 Buitron 1972, 72.

7 Simon & Hirmer 1976, 96, pls. 96-97.

8 Bloesch 1940, 31-35; see also M. Robertson, JHS 85 (1965):99-100.

9 ARV2, 80, no. 15.

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