The interior of this Athenian red-figure kylix or cup depicts a young man in a rocky landscape wearing an outfit intended for hunting or traveling. The youth's identity is uncertain. The hero Theseus is frequently shown in such garb, but the figure could just as easily be an ordinary youth.
The exterior of the kylix depicts a scene clearly drawn from daily life in Athens, not the mythological world. It shows the dokimasia, or annual inspection of the cavalry. The young cavalrymen, who wear caps with long earflaps, present their horses. Greek vases often depicted well-to-do Athenian men hunting, riding, or attending drinking parties--all favored pursuits of the elite social classes. A fine painted cup such as this would have been used at one of these drinking parties, known as symposia.