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Kyathos with black figures
Geneva | Greek Vases
Date:  6th Century BC
Culture:  Greek
Category:  Greek Vases
Medium:  Terracotta
Dimension: H: 15.5 cm
Price: $16,000.00
Provenance: F. Gassner Collection, 1978 - 2005, Germany.
Serial No: 18611

The vase is whole but reattached; Some fragments (especially in the upper half of the room) are restored. The paint is partially shiny black with white and purple highlights to highlight some details of the decoration (eyes, clothes of figures, hair, etc.). The style and technique of this vase are remarkable.
The kyathos is a form that seems to have been introduced into the Attic repertoire by the potter Nikosthenes in the third quarter of the 6th century. Av. In order to satisfy the demands of the Etruscan market, the first kyathoi, shaped into bucchero or impasto, originated from the central decades of the seventh century. Their use was limited to the banquet, where they were used as ladle for serving wine directly from the crater to the cup.

The typical Attic decoration is punctuated by the presence of a pair of prophylactic eyes, warning all participants in the symposium of the dangers hidden in the Dionysian world and the exaggerated consumption of wine. But the scene that occupies the whole surface of the body is complex: two athletes, in a position identical but specular in relation to the handle that separates them, are standing and armed with a javelin, the arm covered by an himation. The main picture is painted in the center of the frieze: two horsemen armed with a spear and carrying a chlamyde galloped their horse against an opponent with a long beard, dressed in an oriental costume (trousers and tunic with long sleeves, Adorned with white spots, a Phrygian cap), which despite his enormous size seems to be succumbing, as he bends his knees and his right leg is now on the ground. Branches decorated with small dotted leaves fill the bottom of the kyathos.

The costume of the bearded man is used by the Greek artists of this period to indicate generically the foreign warriors and especially those of Oriental origin (even Paris, the son of Priam, is very often represented dressed in this way).
Rather than a precise mythological scene, this image could be related to the historical context that the Greek world experienced towards the end of the 6th century. : Even before the wars of the Persians - which opposed the Greeks to the Persian invaders at the beginning of the 5th century. This representation is probably connected with the presence of the powerful Persian dynasties which had occupied all Anatolia, where the cities of Greek origin were subjected to them, as far as the eastern coasts of the Aegean.