Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta pelike (wine jar)

Attributed to the Plousios Painter
ca. 520 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-figure
H. 12 1/16 in. (30.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Walter Bareiss, 1968
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 155
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.

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