Greek red figure skyphoid pyxis depicting Aphrodite




A large red figure pottery skyphoid pyxis with figure decoration to both sides separated by two scrolling palmettes below the handles. One side depicts a partially clad woman seated in front of a palm tree with a female attendant holding a parasol. The reverse side depicts a female figure and naked youth in conversation beside an altar.

The partially draped woman is almost certainly a depiction of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The standing female figure on the other side may be a representation of Peitho, the goddess of persuasion.

Pyxides were often decorated with marriage scenes or depictions of love, alluding to their function as gifts or offerings to brides.

Greek, South Italian colonies, Sicily or Campania, c. 340-320 Century BC

13.9 x 25.2 cms including handles

Professionally re-assembled from around 20 fragments, two small patches of restoration on the lower body (on one side of a palmette and on part of the ovolo border), repainting to the repair lines but no significant re-painting to any of the figures. The vessel would originally have had a lid which is now missing.

Ex. private collection, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany; acquired in the late 20th Century and thence by descent.