Red-Figure Kylix (drinking cup) depicting Hermes
New York Collection
Museum purchase, Ancient Art Trust Fund, Patricia Ann Schindler Art Acquisition Fund, Ancient Hellenic Arts Council in Memory of Carolyn Moscarella
Workshop of the Iliupersis Painter, attributed to the Zaandam Painter
Hermes with his Laconian hound
From about 440 BC through the 4th century BC, red-figure ware produced in the Greek colonies in southern Italy (Magna Graecia) rivaled the well-known painted pottery from Athens. These two drinking cups are superb examples of the graceful and refined vessels made in the region of Apulia during the height of this period. Their crisp and delicate shaping and slender handles owe much to silver or bronze examples, which must have been the prototypes for this form. The cups, clearly made as a pair, have been attributed to an artist within the workshop os the Iliuspersis Painter, who produced some of the most important Apulian vases of the 2nd quarter of the 4th century BC and introduced elements in vase decorations that had a profound influence on later painters. Delicately painted seated figures adorn the center of each cup. On one of the Olympian god Apollo sits between two boughs of laurel, tuning his kithara. On the other, the god Hermes feeds or playfully teases the hound reclining at his side.