Side A: head of donkey

Side A: inscription over satyr's head

Side A: Hera and attendant

Side A: oblique from left

Side A: Hera and attendant

Side A: heads of Hera and attendants

Collection: Toledo Museum of Art
Summary: Side A: the return of HephaistosSide B: satyrs and maenads
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Attributed to the Kleophon Painter
Date: ca. 430 BC - ca. 420 BC

H. 0.30 m., d. rim 0.332 m., w. with handles 0.478 m., d. foot 0.215 m.

Shape: Skyphos
Beazley Number: 11777
Period: High Classical

Decoration Description:

Side A: the return of Hephaistos. On the left Hephaistos sits astride a donkey, holding a hammer in his right hand and tongs in his left. He is dressed in a decorated chitoniskos and a cloak over his left shoulder; the cloak hangs loosely bunched at his waist and continues to fall to below the donkey's belly. A ivy wreath is on his head. The donkey's knees and pasterns are marked with bars. A black band with short strokes extending from it runs along its mane, and another band extends at right angles from it across the withers. In front of the donkey is Dionysos moving right, with his head turned back to look at Hephaistos. He holds a type A kantharos in his right hand and an upright thyrsos in his left. He is wearing a long chiton and himation. The chiton is bordered by a decorative black line, and his himation has three black lines and bands in border decoration. Dionysos too wears an ivy wreath under a fillet, whose end hangs down to his left shoulder. His hair and beard fall in ringlets to his chest. The top of his thyrsos is made of ivy leaves, with dotted triplets and streamers in added white around the outer edges by the leaf points (now eroded away). Originally the thyrsos staff had two branches; now only the reserved stem is visible on the upper left-hand branch, while the added white of the lower right-hand branch is entirely obliterated from the space just above the satyr right of Dionysos. The satyr himself is decidedly youthful; he is naked except for an ivy wreath. Facing right, he plays the double flute with inflated cheeks. His abdominal muscles are rendered in dilute glaze. In front of him to the right sits Hera, with a female attendant at her side holding a palmette fan. The female attendant is wearing a belted peplos with overfall whose lower edges are decorated with a black band and tongues, as well as two narrow black lines. In addition, she has a spiked and dotted diadem. Her fan's details are shown in dilute glaze. Hera is sitting on an elaborately decorated throne, with a Z pattern running along the low arm rail. At each end of the arm rail volutes and palmettes are drawn. The center of the arm rail is supported by three pairs of Z-shaped stanchions. The tops of the legs also have volutes with palmettes in the centers. Along the legs dotted rosettes and stylized palmette pairs appear along a stem that runs between deep incisions. A griffin head is carved out of the top of the throne's backrest. A plinth supports the throne. Hera is wearing a chiton, himation, and crown. The himation, whose edge is bordered by a black line, is pulled up like a hood, covering the back of her head and crown. The chiton is decorated with dotted triplets, and a row of black dots bordered on both sides by thin lines runs along the edges of the neck, sleeve and hem. The crown is decorated in two panels in front—a Z pattern above and an egg pattern below.

Added white is used for the stems and dotted triplets in Hephaistos's wreath, the steam rising from his tongs, the strings hanging from the end of Dionysos's fillet and the sprig in his wreath, dotted triplets and streamers around the top of the thyrsos, the leaves around the upper left twig and the stem and leaves from the right center, the stems and triplets in the satyr's wreath, and the female attendant's coronet.

Side B: satyrs and maenads. The scene is composed of two pairs of satyr and maenad, each figure facing its partner. On the far left a naked, infibulated, bearded satyr looks upward. His abdominal muscles are rendered in dilute glaze. On his head is a wreath in added white; in his right hand he carries a thyrsos which rests against his right shoulder. Ivy leaves fill the top of the thyrsos, and a branch springs from the upper left side of the shaft. Facing the satyr is a taller maenad, wearing a chiton and himation, whose lower edge has five lines as a border. The maenad also holds an upright thyrsos in her right hand. Dotted triplets and streamers appear around the edge of the ivy leaves at the top of the thyrsos. Behind the maenad a second naked, bearded satyr stands facing right, with an added white wreath. He is holding a flaming torch in his left hand and a type A kantharos in his right. Lines of dilute glaze in his forehead give him a frowning appearance. On the far right stands a maenad, again taller than the satyr, wearing a fillet, chiton and himation wrapped tightly around her upper body. A single line runs around the himation at knee length. She holds a thyrsos in her left hand; it leans against her left shoulder. Like the far left thyrsos, this one has a twig springing from the shaft near the top and ivy leaves at the end. With her right hand emerging from the wrapped himation, the maenad reaches to accept the kantharos that the satyr is offering her. In the center of the scene a large wreath hangs in the field.

Added white is used for the far left satyr's wreath, the dotted triplets and streamers around the left-hand maenad's thyrsos end, the wreath hanging in the field, the right-hand satyr's wreath, and the flames of his torch.

Under each handle is an elaborate floral ornament of leaves, palmettes, and tendrils. On the left side of both of these ornaments a coiled tendril springs out, but no symmetrically opposite tendril appears on the right. The ornament left of side A has a further tendril missing on its right side, displaced by the donkey's hind legs. Black glaze surrounds the intersection of each tendril with another; a reserved area is left right at the center. Hephaistos's hammer, the griffin finial on Hera's throne, and two twigs from thyrsoi all overlap the contour of the tendril leaves just below the four handle roots.

Each handle root is encircled by tongues. Around the rim a band of egg pattern appears, interrupted at each handle zone. Below the main panels a band of three meanders alternating with saltire squares circles the vessel. The band meets itself in four meanders under the feet of the far right maenad on side B. A scored line marks the juncture of body and ring base. The lower edge and underside of the base are reserved, with a black circle and dot at the center of the underside. The skyphos interior is fully glazed.


On side A, the misspelled word kalos appears in the field between the top of the thyrsos and the female attendant's head.

Sources Used:

CVA, USA fasc. 20, pp. 11-13, pls. 84-87

Other Bibliography: