First half of the fourth century BCE
Height: circa 16 cm
Ø Rim: circa 10.5 cm
Ø Base: 9 cm
Recovered by the Guardia di Finanza in 2002
This red-figure pelike has a thick, shiny black glaze, which is also applied on the inside of the rim to about halfway down the neck. The vase, which has been reconstructed from many fragments, shows some of its restorations and the brushstrokes of the glaze; the painted decorative lines are greatly eroded and appear to have been reapplied in more than one place. The central design is bordered above by a frame with hanging ovules interspersed with little dots that terminate where the handles are attached. On Side A, two masculine figures are depicted from the front. The one on the right is dressed in a long himation and has a soft hairstyle with curls cascading in front of his ear, covering it completely; the hair is fastened by a band which is created with clear, diluted paint that has almost completely vanished. All that remains of the figure on the left are his legs. His legs are naked, leading us to suppose that the entire figure was nude. He probably held a strigil in his hand, which would have been depicted on his right; the object below could be interpreted as a disc. The scene therefore represents an athlete (maybe a discus-thrower) and his paidòtriba. On Side B, a masculine figure is represented in profile advancing to the right, wrapped in a long himation and with a band over-painted in white on his hair, analogous to the figure on Side A2. The generality and the simplicity of the iconographic features, as well as the state of degradation of the figurative parts, make it difficult to identify the workshop. The athletic subject, however, is very common in the red-figure vase representations in the fifth century and in the first half of the fourth century BCE. The design has been achieved with dabs of color; the details of the face and of the folds of the dress are made with fine lines but not in a particularly accurate manner. If future studies and in-depth analyses confirm the authenticity of the vase, this pelike could be attributed to an Attic workshop active in the first half of the fourth century BCE.