About 540 B.C. Exekias invented the representation of Achilles and Ajax passing the time during the siege of Troy by playing a board game. The original is preserved in the Vatican Museums. The subject remained popular into the fifth century B.C. The warriors are evenly matched. They hold their spears and shields as they play. The artist's concern seems less to characterize them than to dispose an interesting, symmetrical composition on the shoulder of the kalpis.
Beazley, John D. 1971. Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters and to Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters [2nd edition]. p. 343, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1975. "Notable Acquisitions, 1965-1975." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, : p. 123.
Moore, Mary B. 1980. "Exekias and Telamonian Ajax." American Journal of Archaeology, 84(4): p. 421 n. 33.
Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981. Aara-Aphlad, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 1. Achilleus, no. 425, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.
Cohen, Beth. 1991. "Perikles' Portrait." Hesperia, 60(4): pp. 490-1 fn. 113, pl. 123 b.
Hedreen, Guy Michael. 2001. Capturing Troy: The Narrative Functions of Landscape in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Art. p. 102 n. 42, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.