Drinking cup (kylix) with seated woman with phiale

Greek, South Italian
Late Classical period
about 340–330 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Paestum

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 104.


8 cm (3 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



Interior, a woman seated to left on series of white and orange cushions, a phiale in raised right hand, left hand extended behind her holding a scroll; she wears girded Doric chiton, slippers, decorated headdress, necklace and bracelets; before her a scroll ornament; near the edge an ivy leaf band with rows of white dots; Exterior, ivy leaf band near the edge.. Low bowl without stem, angular handles.
Clay red, with fine bits of mica, and occasional pieces of chalk. Inside a circle with six small radial palmettes impressed. White, orange, and violet red applied.

Attributed to the Aphrodite Painter
340-330 B.C.

Interior: A woman is seated tothe left on an irregular pile of white rocks with yellow shadow bands. She holds a phiale in her raised right hand and a sprig of ivy in her left, its added color now effaced. She wears a chiton, kekryphalos, shoes, bracelets, earrings, and a necklace; the jewelry is white and the shoes have white spots. The white dots in her lap may be offerings to place in the phiale. There is a rosette above and a scrolling palmette at the left, both with touches of added white. The groundline is a row of white dots. A wreath of laurel with white berries circles the i nner rim. In the very center of the interior, concealed by the painting, is a stamped desigh: a circle surrounded by palmettes.
Exterior: There is a wreath of laurel between the handles on both sides.
This unusual combination of techniques - painting over a stamped design - occurs on a cup of similar shape, also by the Aphrodite Painter (RVP, p. 250. no. 2/984, pl. 155d). The Boston cup was originally thought to be Apulian, but a fuller knowledge of the Aphrodite Painter’s work has led Trendall to assign it to his hand. The painter was obviously aware of contemporary Apulian vase-painting whence he may have borrowed the white rock drawn in the Apulian manner; see RVP, p. 250.


By date unknown: Mr. and Mrs. William de Forest Thomson Collection; gift of Mr. and Mrs. William de Forest Thomson to MFA, 1919

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William de Forest Thomson