Terracotta pelike (wine jar)

Attributed to the Plousios Painter

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.

Terracotta pelike (wine jar), Attributed to the Plousios Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic

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