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Red-Figure Calpis

circa 400 BCE-390 BCE
4th century BCE
38.7 cm (15 1/4 in.)

Anonymous Primary

Object Type: ceramic
Artist Nationality: Europe, Greek-South Italian (Apulia)
Medium and Support: Terracotta
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund and the James R. Dougherty, Jr. Foundation, 1980
Accession Number: 1980.61

A seated woman is fanned by a servant while a nude young man holds out a fillet (hair band) to her. Another young woman plays with a ball, and a second nude youth holds a sheathed sword near a chest. The furniture indicates an indoor scene although the rocks and plant motifs along the ground line suggest the outdoors. The meaning of the scene is unclear today, but similar elements in other Apulian vases suggest that its significance would have been understood by an Apulian audience.

Since the reverse side of the vessel was not intended for viewing, it was not decorated. The two opposing handles were used to carry the hydria and the third was for the fetching and pouring of water.

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