Two-handled jar (pelike) with actors preparing for a performance

Greek, Athens
Classical Period
about 430 B.C.
the Phiale Painter (also known as the Boston Phiale Painter)

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 063.


Height: 24.1 cm (9 1/2 in.); diameter: 18 cm (7 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

On View

Greek Classical Gallery (Gallery 215C)


The Ancient World



Side A: Actors dressing. Youth dressed as a woman, and another youth.
Side B: Bearded man in mantle, profile to left. Repaired with slight restoration.

[Label text]:
The scene on this pelike shows two actors preparing for a performance. One young man has already donned his costume. His companion dresses before putting on his mask which lies on the ground between the two figures. The actors are dressed as women, as all parts in the Greek theater were played by men. The costumes are comprised of a chiton (a typical woman’s garment), a kerchief around the hair, and high boots in addition to the mask. The boots may indicate that these men are portraying women from the Northern region of Thrace.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: bought by E. R. from Calabrese with the Pamphaios. From excavations at Cervetri); 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