T h e s e u s , A t h e n a a n d A m p h i t r i t e
Theseus, shown as a young boy, reaches with his right arm across the tondo of the cup to greet Amphitrite on the right. Out of his element in the underwater palace of Poseidon, the youth's feet are supported by Triton. He is dressed in a chitoniskos with sword slung around his waist, and appears blonde through the use of dilute glaze.
The seated Goddess Amphitrite is enveloped in Ionic chiton and himation which partially covers her hair at back. She raises her right arm toward Theseus, offering him a wreath (done in applied clay and originally covered with gold; cf. Robertson 1992, 48-50). Her hair is partly painted in dilute glaze and she wears sandals whose ties are painted in added red. The stool on which she sits is decorated with stars and palmettes and its cushion has a checked cover.
In the center of the composition, behind Amphitrite and Theseus, stands Athena, dressed in chiton, aegis, and helmet. She holds an owl in her right hand and a spear in her left; her body is turned towards Theseus, whom she has accompanied beneath the ocean, but she turns her head to Amphitrite.
All garments are voluminous and very finely pleated, and are painted in great detail. Athena's aegis is articulated with fine scales overall. The underwater setting of the scene is reinforced by the dolphins swimming behind Theseus. Palmettes form the border on the rim and a continuous meander running right encircles the tondo.
Attic red figure cup from Caere, Diam. 0.40 m
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Copyright ©1998-2001 Roy George