Drinking cup (kylix) with Telephos at the palace of Agamemnon

Early Classical Period
470–460 B.C.
the Telephos Painter, Potter Hieron

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 154.


Height: 11.4 cm (4 1/2 in.) Diameter: 33 cm (13 in)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

On View

Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)


The Ancient World



Exterior of cup, Side A: This scene probably depicts Telephos at palace of Agamemnon. At the left is a porch with an Aeolic column supporting an entablature. Someone is running out the door towards Telephos who is seated on an altar. An old man approaches him on the left, and on the right a man comes towards him drawing a sword while a friend tries to restrain him.

Exterior side B: The interior of the palace is indicated by the presence of inside furniture. A bearded man sits on an elegant chair (Agamenmon ) in the center of the composition. Four other men surround him, two walking away to the left, and two walking to the right.

Interior tondo composition: A building is indicated by an entablature, Aeolic column with base, and abacus. A man sits on a rock wearing the costume of a traveller, a short tunic (chitoniskos), short cloak (chlamys), and a sun-hat (petasos). He also has curious objects around his ankles, perhaps fetters? A second man stands facing the first, separated by the column, looking down at him. He wears a high helmet (pilos) and holds a pair of spears. The identity of this pair is uncertain; suggestions range from Odysseus and Achilles to Theseus and Perithoos. The seated man may be Telephos, made captive by the Greeks and forced to lead them to Troy.

Inscribed in Greek under remaining handle: Signed by the potter: “Hieron made [it]” (HIERON EPOIESEN)

Condition: Considerably restored. Heads of five figures lost.


"Hieron made [it]" (HIERON EPOIESEN)


"Hieron made [it]" (HIERON EPOIESEN)


According to Caskey-Beazley III: from Eastern Etruria; by 1896: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Brought to Rome by a contadino but whence is uncertain. Date of this purchase 1896.); 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund