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Attic terracotta red figure kylix decorated with Eros, Circa 500 BC

Conservation:  Restored
Material:  Terracotta
Dimensions:  26 cm in diameter including handles.
Provenance:  Mr. Brian Alpine 1960, by descent of Mr. L.Wuyts, Liege, Belgium 1985, acquired by Mr. Jacques Vandendriessche, Brussels, Belgium 2006.
Documents:  Includes a TLC test


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A Kylix was a type of vessel, similar to a goblet or chalice, with two handles so that it could be held with both hands. Normally these vessels were intended for Greek festivities and were therefore used for drinking wine. This Attic kylix, made in ceramic using the red-figure technique, is decorated on the inside with a circular tondo with a winged male figure, probably Eros.
In Greek mythology, Eros was the primordial god responsible for sexual attraction, love and sex, also revered as a god of fertility. In ancient vase painting, Eros is depicted as a handsome young man or boy. His attributes were varied, ranging from the usual bow and arrows to the gifts of a lover, such as a hare, a girdle or a flower.
The outer face between the handles is decorated with vegetal motifs (large palmettes). In addition, between the areas of the handles and the palmettes there are two similar scenes depicting two figures, one of them naked and holding in his hand a strigil or strigile, which is a long, thin metal scraper used in Greco-Roman culture by athletes to clean their bodies stained with sand and oil.


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