Drinking cup (kylix)
Late Archaic Period
about 520–510 B.C.
the Carpenter Painter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 008.
Overall: 17.2 x 24 x 7.9 cm (6 3/4 x 9 7/16 x 3 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Red Figure
This youth wears a tunic which is pushed down to his waist, and a quiver attached to a shoulder strap hangs at his left hip. He is testing both the straightness of an arrow, by looking down its length from the nock, the notched bone attachment which holds the arrow on the bowstring, as well as the sharpness of its large arrowhead, by touching the point. Just before the nock of this arrow is the fletching or the feather vanes affixed to the rear for aerodynamic stability. The outline of the archer’s hair is incised, and delineations of the musculature are executed in dilute glaze. He wears a wreath on his head, an attribute found often on the god Apollo, who wields the bow as his weapon of choice. In the exergue below the ground line, the cup is inscribed “KALOS” which means handsome or beautiful. This scene probably represents the preparation of a warrior before a battle, when he could test his weapons. This somewhat ambiguous figure might also represent a hunter or a participant in an archery competition, but these activities were crucial to the practice of this skill in order to increase proficiency during war.
By date unknown: W. H. Forman Collection; inherited from him by Mrs. Burt and then, about 1889, by A. H. Browne; by 1899: with Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London W.C., England, auction of the Forman Collection, June 19-22, lot 337; by 1900: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, February 1900
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund