Terracotta hydria: kalpis (water jar)

Attributed to the Berlin Painter

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 157

Ajax and Achilles gaming

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.

Terracotta hydria: kalpis (water jar), Attributed to the Berlin Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic

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