Greek Attic Black-Figured Kylix with Gorgon Attributed to the Leafless group, 500 BC
The tondo with gorgoneion within a band, incised details, the exterior with reserved band. Gorgons are hideous, beast-like female creatures that were already seen in Homer’s time and continued to be used as a monstrous symbol throughout the Roman period. Known for their powerful gazes, capable of turning someone to stone, gorgons were also favoured as architectural ornaments, because it was believed that they would protect those within. The Leafless Group A group of late Athenian black-figure vases (mostly cups) named for the stripped branches that fill the background. Many of the painted scenes are Dionysian. The quality is generally poor and worsens with age. Many vessels have been attributed to this group because of their style.