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Eye Cup

Eye Cup

c. 520 BC

attributed to Psiax

(Greek)

Red-figure terracotta

Diameter: 6.4 cm (2 1/2 in.); Overall: 11.2 x 33.6 cm (4 7/16 x 13 1/4 in.); Diameter of rim: 26 cm (10 1/4 in.); Diameter of foot: 10.2 cm (4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1976.89

Description

Psiax was one of the first black-figure artists to paint in red-figure. On some of his vases he painted in both red- and black-figure. Vases with this unique combination are called bilingual. Slightly more than a dozen of his red-figure works are known, and yet he is considered one of the great masters of that technique as well. His figures are elegant and graceful, and his compositions dramatic. The eyes on this type of cup were originally meant to fend off the power of the "evil eye." However, they had another, more humorous result. As the drinker raised the cup to his lips, it transformed itself into a monstrous face - on either side of the wild, glaring eyes, the two handles became ears, and the foot of the cup became a snout. Side A: Warriors Side B: Kithara concert Tondo: Four palmettes Foot: (owner's name incised)

See also
Collection: 
GR - Greek
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Ceramic

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