Drinking cup (kylix) with erotic scene

Late Archaic Period
about 480 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens


Height: 7.8 cm (3 1/16 in.); diameter: 21.2 cm (8 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

On View

Greek Classical Gallery (Gallery 215B)


The Ancient World



Cup interior tondo composition: sex scene: A bearded man bends over a woman with short hair (which may indicate her status as a slave). She braces herself on the stool in front of her which has lion-paw feet and various things piled on top of it, including her clothes. To the left is a couch (kline) which has an elaborately carved post with ionic volutes. An overstuffed striped cushion tops the kline.
Inscription “the girl is pretty” (HE PAIS KALE) above their heads, and ‘Hold still!’ (HEXE HESUXOS) issuing from the man’s mouth.

Exterior is undecorated.


"the girl is pretty" (HE PAIS KALE) (above their heads), and "Hold still!"(HEXE HESUXOS) (issuing from the man's mouth) ΗΕΠΑΙΣΚΑΛΕ ΗΕΧΕΗΣΥΧΟΣ


By 1969: with Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Malzgasse 25, Basel, Switzerland (auction 40, lot 93); purchased at auction 40 by Landon T. Clay; gift of Landon T. Clay to MFA, March 11, 1970

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay