Two-handled jar (pelike) depicting the escape of Odysseus from the cave of Polyphemos
Late Archaic Period
about 490–480 B.C.
Near the Goettingen Painter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Height: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Red Figure
Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)
Side A: This scene shows a scene from the myth we know from Homer’s Odyssey: Odysseus’ escape from the cyclops Polyphemus, who he has just blinded. Here Odysseus is seen strapped to the underside of a ram, so that Polyphemus, touching the backs of his flock, might think only the animals are exiting his cave. The tree behind the figures indicates that he has successfully escaped. The unsheathed sword in his right hand shows that he is ready to cut himself down. He is wearing a leather cuirass, and the emtpty scabbard of his sword is visible.
Side B: A warrior with a helmet, shield, sheathed sword, and spear in right hand lunges to right.
Broken and repaired, with area filled-in to right of shield and with in-painting below figures on both sides.
1961, gift of George Allen and Robert E. Hecht, Jr., Philadelphia, to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 10, 1961)
Anonymous gift in memory of Lacey D. Caskey