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Terracotta pelike (wine jar)
Attributed to the Plousios Painter
ca. 520 B.C.
H. 12 1/16 in. (30.7 cm)
Gift of Walter Bareiss, 1968
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.
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