File:Greek - Black-figure Kylix with Sirens - Walters 4837 - Side B.jpg

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Anonymous (Greece)
Unknown author
Black-figure Kylix with Sirens
English: Homer does not describe the physical appearance of the Sirens, but their tantalizing beauty and alluring song captured the interest of commentators throughout antiquity. The Sirens are depicted as composite creatures as early as the 8th century BC, a motif perhaps derived from Egyptian sources. The earliest types, such as those seen here, are shown simply with women's heads and birds' bodies, without arms or hands. Sirens occur not only in narrative scenes with Odysseus and his men, but also as decorative motifs (as do sphinxes); during the Classical period they come to have associations with funerary iconography. The two-handled vase shown here is a type of kylix known as an eye cup, which would resemble a mask when raised to the lips during the symposium. The simple, black-slip interior reveals several small holes around the handles that were used for repairs in antiquity. On the exterior, a similar composition dominates each side of the vase in a single band. Between two large eyes stands a siren; on one side, the siren faces frontally to the right, on the other side, she turns her head, looking back. Their full wings are simply drawn, with bands of added red pigment. Beneath their feet runs a simple ground line of black glaze. Above each siren are traces of an inscription, perhaps the signature of the potter or painter, though it is no longer readable.
Date 6th century BC
date QS:P571,-550-00-00T00:00:00Z/7
Medium terracotta
medium QS:P186,Q60424
Dimensions H: 4 1/2 x W: 11 13/16 x Diam at rim: 9 1/16 in. (11.5 x 30 x 23 cm)
institution QS:P195,Q210081
Accession number
Place of creation Attica, Greece
Object history
Exhibition history Things With Wings: Mythological Figures in Ancient Greek Art. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2005-2006. Things With Wings: Mythological Figures in Ancient Greek Art. Ward Museum, Salisbury. 2009. Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; San Diego Museum Of Art, San Diego; Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), New York. 2009-2011.
Credit line Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
Source Walters Art Museum: Nuvola filesystems folder home.svg Home page Information icon.svg Info about artwork
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current05:54, 26 March 2012Thumbnail for version as of 05:54, 26 March 20121,799 × 900 (915 KB)File Upload Bot (Kaldari) (talk | contribs)== {{int:filedesc}} == {{Walters Art Museum artwork |artist = Greek |title = ''Black-figure Kylix with Sirens'' |description = {{en|Homer does not describe the physical appearance of the Sirens, but their tantalizing beauty a...
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