Fragmentary Wine Cup with Achilles
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Attributed to Douris, vase-painter; Kleophrades, potter
Greek, Athens, about 490 B.C.
4 3/4 x 9 1/2 in.

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A youth sits despondently wrapped in his cloak, his head in his hand, on the interior of this fragment of an Athenian red-figure kylix or cup. An older, bearded man stands before him. The scene probably illustrates an episode from the mythical Trojan War, the mission of Odysseus to Achilles' tent after Briseis, his concubine, was taken from him. Upset by this offense to his honor, Achilles withdrew from the battlefield and sulked in his tent. During his absence, the Greeks lost badly in battle, so the Greek leaders sent a delegation to convince him to return. Even the wily Odysseus, however, proved unable to make Achilles return to battle; only the death of his companion Patrokles motivated Achilles to rejoin the battle.

The outside of the cup shows a mythological scene--Herakles competing with the sons of Eurytos in an archery contest--and an everyday scene of athletes training.

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