Obverse, two men playing board game Reverse, flute player between two athletes
Introduced by red-figure artists, the pelike was adopted as well by their black-figure counterparts. The subject here is a further modification of the theme of Ajax and Achilles gaming (compare hydria 56.171.29). Two men sit at a three-legged table playing a board game, as indicated by their gestures. A flute case and a lyre hanging on the wall above them suggest that the men are professional musicians taking a break. The implied comparison with the Homeric heroes is amusing.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1975. "Notable Acquisitions, 1965-1975." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, : p. 126.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1980. "One Hundred Tenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1979 through June 30, 1980." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 110: p. 36.
Moret, J.-M. 1984. Œdipe, la Sphinx et les thébains: essai de mythologie iconographique, Bibliotheca Helvetica Romana 23, 2 vols. p. 41, n. 3, Rome: Institut suisse de Rome.