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Dossier : Images mises en forme

Dossier : Images mises en forme

Between Toy Box and Wedding Gift: Functions and Images of Athenian Pyxides1

Stefan Schmidt

Résumé

Cet article s’attache au rapprochement de l’image et de la forme, dans leur double aspect esthétique et thématique. L’exemple retenu est celui des pyxides attiques afin d’envisager les problèmes méthodologiques de la reconstruction de la fonction et de la signification de la vaisselle peinte. La question principale est celle de l’influence que joue l’usage prévu du vase sur le choix du sujet qui y est représenté. Dans une première étape, on considère toutes les données archéologiques concernant l’usage des pyxides dans l’Athènes ancienne. Il en résulte une valeur symbolique grandissante des pyxides comme présents nuptiaux durant le Ve siècle avant notre ère. Dans une deuxième étape, on observe les changements dans le répertoire des images sur les pyxides attiques. Tandis que les pyxides du VIe siècle montrent une grande variété de thèmes, les images du Ve siècle se concentrent sur des thèmes concernant les femmes dans le mariage. L’interdépendance entre les deux aspects conduit au résultat que les Athéniens du Ve siècle accordent plus d’attention à un certain usage projeté de ces vaisselles.

This paper deals with both the aesthetic and the thematic aspects of bringing together picture and shape. As an example, it focuses on Attic pyxides, using them to consider the methodological problems of reconstructing function and meaning of the painted vessels. The main question is what influence the projected use of the pot had on the choice and rendering of the subject depicted on it ? In a first step all archaeological evidence for the use of pyxides in ancient Athens is carefully considered. As a result the growing symbolical value of the decorated pyxides as wedding gifts during the 5th century BCE is obvious. In a second step changes in the repertoire of images on attic pyxides are observed. Whereas pyxides of the 6th century show a great variety of themes, the images of the 5th century concentrate on themes around women and wedding. The interdependences between the two aspects lead to the result that the Athenians of the 5th century payed more attention to transmit specific messages with the vase-paintings by referring to a certain projected use of the vessels.

Texte intégral

  • 1 Aknowledgements: I would like to thank Marie-Christine Villanueva warmly for inviting me to the rou (...)
  • 2 Cf. on framing of vase pictures Hanna Philipp, «Zur Genese des “Bildes” in geometrischer und archai (...)

1If we seek to learn the relationship between Greek vases and their pictorial decoration we have to take into account two rather different aspects. The first is the more superficial problem of how to place and to frame a picture on a vessel, for its convex or cylindrical shape has a determining influence on the rendering of the depiction. Decorating a pot requires another concept of pictorial representation than painting a panel. Whereas the latter tends to be the finestra aperta in the sense of Renaissance art theory the first one can play with the three-dimensional surface of the vessel.2

2The second more complex aspect is the connection between the picture’s theme and the vessel’s function which is determined by its shape. We need to ask what influence the projected use of the pot had on the choice and rendering of the subject depicted on it? Related to this aspect is the question of to what degree the decoration of Greek pottery was intended to transport a message. Were the pictures only mirrors of common interests, or were they addressed to a selected audience?

3In my paper I want to deal with both the aesthetic and the thematic aspects of bringing together picture and shape. As an example, I will focus on Attic pyxides, using them to consider the methodological problems of reconstructing function and meaning of the painted vessels. The first problem, as for most ancient vessels, is determining their intended use. Although there are some hints given by the shape itself and the painted decoration on them that these boxes were containers of small things belonging to Athenian women, we need to carefully consider the evidence. We have to ask if the function remained the same over the long period of production and if the different types of pyxides were made for the same or different uses.

4The results of this consideration will be crucial for the second question. The role vase images played in ancient discourses will become clearer if the function of the pots is determined. The more closely pictures were connected to the specific situation in which the vessels were used, the more attention they got from their ancient viewers. In what follows we will see what representational techniques the vase-painters used to adapt the subjects to the intended audience.

I

  • 3 On the names Gisela M. A. Richter, Marjorie J. Milne, Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases, New York, (...)

5The name pyxis is given to these vessels by modern scholars, but it is far from clear whether the ancient Athenians saw all these round boxes as a consistent group of vases with identical function. Moreover, it is most unlikely that all these boxes served the same purposes, since we know more than one name for small containers from Classical and Hellenistic times. The written sources speak about kylichnides, libanotes and pyxides.3 The first term is the diminuitive of kylix, the Greek cup, and it seems to indicate vessels similar to the so called lekanides. These are small cuplike but lidded containers, which were most common in the late fifth and fourth century BCE. The second term libanotis refers to the contents of such boxes. It derives from libanotos, the Greek term for incense. Finally for pyxis we have no evidence prior to Late Hellenistic times, when it was a term for ointment boxes of physicians. However, we do not know which sort of container was connected with each of these names.

  • 4 Cf. Brian A. Sparkes, Lucy Talcott, Black and Plain Pottery of the 6th, 5th, and 4th Century BC, Th (...)
  • 5 On the name and the Corinthian forerunners, Humphry Payne, Necrocorinthia, Oxford, 1931, p. 293, Je (...)
  • 6 John H. Oakley, «Attic Red-figured Type D Pyxides», dans Athena Tsingarida (éd.), Shapes and Uses o (...)

6From Attic workshops we know six main types of ceramic containers, which all are subsumed under the modern term pyxis,4 although these types were not all produced at the same time and presumably not all for the same purpose. The simplest types are small cylindrical boxes with either a lid that covers the entire body of the box or a simple disk-like lid. The first, called a powder pyxis,5 was most common until the beginning of the fifth century, when it was replaced by the latter known as as Type D. Both types exist with figured decoration, but frequently they were black glazed or plain. Painted decoration of these types was often not very elaborate. On black-figured examples we find animals, mostly birds. On red-figure Type D pyxides only the upper side of the lid is decorated, often with a single figure.6

  • 7 Sally R. Roberts, The Attic Pyxis, Chicago, 1978; Mercati, op. cit., p. 26-129.

7Beside these modest pyxis types there are larger containers, often with extensive painted decoration. The standard Type A has a rather high concave body with a low foot or a simple ring base. The lid fits into the upper part of the receptacle’s wall. These boxes had their predecessors in Corinth and were produced in Athens from the sixth to fourth century.7

  • 8 Cf. Ingeborg Scheibler, «Exaleiptra», Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 79, 1964, p. (...)

8Two other types of big containers have shallow bodies. During the Archaic period tripod pyxides with a bowl-like interior were in use. They seem to have been a derivation of the tripod exaleiptra which was a container for liquid, as indicated by their inturned and overhanging lip.8 In modern literature these two types are widely confused. The red-figured followers of the tripod pyxides from the middle of the fifth century onwards were the so-called Type C pyxides. They, too, have wide open shallow bodies which seem especially appropriate for ointments or make-up.

  • 9 Mercati, op. cit., p. 131-133; for an example depicting scenes of women on both body and lid, Athen (...)

9The last type of pyxis with lavish pictorial decoration seems to be a special case, since we know only a few examples from the second half of the fifth century. Called Type B, they are a late adaptation of the Archaic powder pyxis. Unlike their predecessors, the Type B pyxides are bigger and have friezes with many figures around their lid and occasionally around their body.9

II

10What evidence do we have for the use of all these containers? There are three possible approaches. The first and most obvious is to look for excavated examples with traces of their former contents. The second is to take into account the archaeological contexts of pyxides and to reconstruct their intended purpose. The third is to interpret how the vessels are depicted as being used.

  • 10 Alfred Brueckner, Erich Pernice, «Ein Attischer Friedhof», Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologisch (...)
  • 11 Rodney S. Young, «Sepulturae intra urbem», Hesperia 20, 1951, p. 93-94.
  • 12 Erika Kunze-Götte et al., Die Nekropole von der Mitte des 6. bis Ende des 5. Jahrhunderts, Kerameik (...)
  • 13 Cf. Stefan Schmidt, Rhetorische Bilder auf attischen Vasen, Berlin, 2005, p. 91; Georges Daux, «Chr (...)

11For the small powder and Type D pyxides the evidence is rather clear. They were found either in women’s or children’s graves, or in domestic contexts. There is only little evidence that they contained children’s toys: The bones of little birds found in two pyxides from children’s graves could be interpreted as remains of their pets.10 Other pyxides were found with cosmetic substances inside. A small box from a young woman’s grave of the late sixth century near the Athenian Agora is the earliest example we have of this. It contained green earth which was once used for a red cosmetic.11 This specimen is the first of a long list of other examples from the fifth and fourth century BCE.12 Since the small boxes were found in domestic contexts too13 — although never with its contents preserved — it is most probable, that the powder and Type D pyxides were used not only in graves but also in daily life by the same persons and for the same purposes.

  • 14 Schmidt, op. cit., p. 91-92.
  • 15 Homer Thompson, «Activities in the Athenian Agora: 1954», Hesperia 24, 1955, p. 62-66; cf. Gundula (...)

12If we consider Archaic times, the situation for the larger pyxides like tripod or Type A pyxides with elaborated decoration is rather different and more complex. There is no evidence for the use of such pyxides in domestic contexts. In the wells and deposits around the Athenian Agora, which are remains of Archaic households, only small boxes were found. Moreover, not a single context of a large pyxis from the Agora could be interpreted as a household.14 An example may be the Type A pyxis with a symposium scene, which was found in a well at the eastern border of the Agora. The ceramic content of this well consists of only a few shapes. Therefore, it was interpreted even by the excavators as rubbish from a potter’s shop.15

  • 16 But see a sixth century tripod exaleiptron that once contained a greasy substance from a woman’s gr (...)
  • 17 At the Kerameikos: Karl Kübler, Die Nekropole des späten 8. bis frühen 6. Jahrhunderts, Kerameikos (...)
  • 18 Reinhard Lullies, «Attisch-schwarzfigurige Keramik aus dem Kerameikos» Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archä (...)

13Although there is no evidence for their actual use in Athenian households, large black-figured pyxides were not uncommon in Archaic graves of women and children. Unfortunately, we have no information about their contents.16 Nevertheless, there are hints that some of the large pyxides at the cemeteries were not former personal possessions of the deceased but special vessels for the funeral ceremonies. There are a couple of specimens which were not found in individual burials but in ritual contexts, for instance in the offering trench of the so-called mound of the Athenians at Marathon.17 Another hint may be the decoration. Some items are painted with typical funerary themes like the prothesis.18 It seems that the larger pyxides with black-figured decoration were used in different situations but mainly for ritual purposes.

  • 19 For example: Alfred Brueckner, Erich Pernice, «Ein Attischer Friedhof Mitteilungen des Deutschen Ar (...)
  • 20 Berlin, Staatliche Museen F 4008: Adolf Furtwängler, Beschreibung Vasensammlung im Antiquarium, Ber (...)
  • 21 Irma Wehgartner, Attisch weißgrundige Keramik, Mainz, 1983, p. 217, n° Schmidt, op. cit., p. 94-95.
  • 22 Kunze-Götte et al., op. cit., p. 118, n° 470, p. 123, n° 477. See also a 4th albaster pyxis filled (...)
  • 23 New York, Metropolitan Museum 06.1021.119: Gisela M. A. Richter, Marjorie J. Milne, Shapes and Name (...)
  • 24 Amsterdam Allard Pierson Museum 648: ARV² 724, 7; Essen, Folkwang Museum A 10: Heide Froning, Katal (...)

14The situation with the red-figured pyxides of the fifth century changed only gradually. We know that some contained cosmetics. They seem to be typical for the shallow boxes of Type C,19 since only two Type A pyxides exist with remains of psimythion, a white make-up.20 The latter is a higher shape and therefore more appropriate to contain little objects than amorphous substances.21 There are for instance some Type A pyxides from children’s graves which were found together with astragals, although they were not inside the vessel.22 The knob in the form of an astragal on a red-figured pyxis in New York is a further hint at such content.23 Evidence for another possible use comes only from pictorial representations. In other media women are shown taking grains of incense out of a pyxis to an incense burner.24

  • 25 Ursula Knigge, Der Bau Z, Kerameikos 17, Berlin, 2005, p. 17-19, p. 135-136, pl. 66-67; Schmidt, op (...)
  • 26 Schmidt, op. cit., p. 98-99.

15Although the contents of fifth-century pyxides were nearly the same as before, the contexts of their use seem to have changed. From the fifth century we have a lot of domestic evidence for large pyxides with elaborated decoration. However, a closer look at these contexts shows that the great pyxides were stored in private houses but were probably never in daily use. A good example is the finds of the late fifth-century house near the Sacred Gate at Athens, the so called Bau Z. Two pyxides were discovered together with a lot of painted ceramics, including Panathenaic amphorae, in two rooms adjacent to the central court.25 Since these rooms are small, they seem to have been storerooms for valuable items of the household. Other contexts have similar characteristics. Pyxides are often mixed with ceremonial vessels like lebetes gamikoi, loutrophoroi and pieces of sentimental value like Panathenaic amphorae.26 They seem to be kept as souvenirs of the wedding ceremony or other important personal events.

  • 27 Ursula Knigge, Der Kerameikos von Athen, Athen, 1988, p. 147, fig. 143; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 99-10 (...)
  • 28 Cf. John H. Oakley, Rebecca H. Sinos, The Wedding in Ancient Athens, Madison, 1993, p. 40, fig. 124 (...)

16The lavishly decorated red-figured pyxides, therefore, must have been part of the ceremonial furnishing that was connected with weddings in Athens during the later fifth century. Contexts like the inventory of an offering place at the Ceramicus which reflects wedding gifts27 or depictions on vases like the wedding scene on a lebes gamikos at St. Petersburg support this assumption.28 The occurrence of the pyxides in domestic contexts from the fifth century on is therefore not a sign for their use in the women’s boudoirs but for the growing interest in equipping wedding ceremonies with symbolic vessels and to keep them at home afterwards.

III

  • 29 Examples with symposium: Providence, Rhode Island School of Design 34.1374: Sally R. Roberts, The A (...)

17Let us now turn to the pictures on the pyxides. Although we have not seen a dramatic shift in the use of these vessels, a clear change in the themes represented can be observed. In black-figure decoration we find a lot of different themes, whereas in red-figure there is a restriction on themes related to the women’s world. The pictures on sixth-and early fifth-century pyxides are more or less the same as on contemporary vases of other shapes. On Type A pyxides, scenes of a symposium, reveling komasts or a chariot race are very common.29 Obviously these were chosen first of all because of their endless repetition and their circular movement. Such pictures stress the cylindrical shape of the boxes perfectly.

  • 30 Kunze-Götte et al., op. cit., p. 67 n° 242, 8, pl. 40; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 89, fig. 52.
  • 31 Vinzenz Brinkmann, Beobachtungen zum formalen Aufbau und zum Sinngehalt der Friese des Siphnierscha (...)

18On tripod pyxides we find a variety of representations which are otherwise known from shapes with rectangular framed pictures, like for instance amphorae. As an example I would like to mention the pyxis from a woman’s grave in the Ceramicus with three mythological scenes: the judgment of Paris, the struggle between Peleus and Thetis, and the birth of Athena (fig. 1).30 It has been suggested that this combination was intended to symbolize three crucial events in the life of an Athenian woman: courtship, wedding and childbirth.31

  • 32 Cf. Schmidt, op. cit., p. 110-111; Olaf Dräger, Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Erlangen 2, München, 200 (...)
  • 33 Lille, Musée 763: ABV 681, 122bis; Juliette de La Genière, «À propos d’un vase grec du Musée de Lil (...)

19Such a sophisticated interpretation, however, leads us in the wrong direction. First, we have no evidence that Archaic pyxides were exclusively used as vessels for females, as I have argued, so that the Archaic audience would not have expected the images on all pyxides to be connected with women. Second, other scenes are combined with the Judgment of Paris which makes it clear that not in every case are the three pictures on tripod pyxides readable as a sequence or refer to the same thematic field, especially the women’s world.32 An example is a tripod exaleiptron at Lille with two generic fighting scenes and the Judgment.33 Third, none of the pictures gives any hint that allows so to understand the mythological scenes as a reference to a woman’s life. They do not differ from the scenes on other vase shapes. Moreover, to view the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus as a reference to childbirth in general or Paris’decision between three goddesses as a symbol for courting seems a little odd, even for an Athenian.

20We have to conclude that the imagery on black-figured pyxides for the most part follows the same interests as the imagery on other contemporary shapes. Characteristic themes are a fight, horses, symposium, and even women as the most prestigious occupations in the Archaic society. Additionally, the pictures display a great variety of mythological narratives, which put these occupations into the world of the heroes. In most cases the actual choice of pictures depended not on an intended group of recipients, but on how suitable a theme was for the available space on the boxes. Only a few pyxides show pictures which were more closely connected with the possible use of the vessel, as is the case with the funerary scenes.

IV

  • 34 Athens, National Museum 1623 A: François Lissarrague, «Intrusions au gynécée», dans Paul Veyne (éd. (...)

21The situation changes in the first half of the fifth century. Scenes of woman and female occupations were shown almost exclusively on the pyxides. A characteristic example is a pyxis by the Leningrad Painter, which was excavated in one of the northern cemeteries of Athens (fig. 2).34 In an interior setting symbolized by three Doric columns holding up a shallow entablature six women are shown with children, wool baskets, spindle and mirrors. Whereas all the females are connected through gestures or glances, a young man stands isolated between the backrests of two stools. He presents to the women a pomegranate. With this gesture he obviously praises the beauty and the domestic competence of the women.

  • 35 Athens, National Museum 14908: ARV² 924; Alfred Brueckner, Erich Pernice, «Ein Attischer Friedhof»,(...)

22Mythological scenes which are related to the women’s world also begin to appear on the pyxides. For example, a box from a woman’s grave near the Athenian Dipylon shows an unusual rendering of the Judgment of Paris (fig. 3).35 The three goddesses are sitting and pour or receive libations. Paris is depicted as a kithara player isolated and in frontal view between the backs of Athena and Aphrodite. In comparison to the pyxis by the Leningrad Painter, the changes in the Judgment scene seem to be understandable. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena are represented in the same way as ordinary women with their domestic occupations. However, they are not working wool or taking care of children but pour libations as characteristic of the gods. Paris in this picture does not directly confront the goddesses. Although a critic of their beauty, he is excluded from their domestic sphere, just like the man on the above mentioned pyxis. In this case the representation of the mythological narrative was adapted to the common domestic scenes — its iconography changed in order to give the image a more feminine perspective, even if it was what an Athenian man considered to be an appropriate feminine perspective. Nevertheless, this adaptation would make it easier for the intended female user of the box to identify with the situation depicted and the values represented.

  • 36 München, Staatliche Antikensammlungen Schoen 64: ARV² 806, 93; Reinhard Lullies, Eine Sammlung grie (...)
  • 37 Christine Sourvinou-Inwood, «Reading» Greek Culture, Oxford, 1991, p. 29-98 Andrew Stewart, «Rape?» (...)
  • 38 Cf. Schmidt, op. cit., p. 127-129, 136-139

23A further example may show how sophisticated such changes of mythological images were. The common iconographical scheme for the myth of Peleus and Thetis in black-and early red-figure vase-painting was either the wedding procession or the wrestling match between the human and the goddess, as we have seen it on the Ceramicus pyxis (fig. 1b). On some mid-fifth-century pyxides the violent courting of Thetis has been depicted as a pursuit. On an example in Munich the sisters of the bride-to-be also flee from the aggressor to an altar beside a palm tree. A bearded man, most probably their father Nereus, stands there as a point of rescue (fig. 4).36 The painter of this box did not trust the dolphin in the hand of Thetis to be a sufficient indication of which story was meant. He added the names of the protagonists beside their heads. This might have been necessary, since the pursuit was then a common iconographical scheme which was connected with several mythological themes.37 In every case it was a sign of desire. To use this scheme for the Peleus and Thetis story instead of the traditional wrestling match shifts the emphasis to the woman’s fear. It was no longer a tale of divine power which could be overcome, but of the uncertainties and threats of the new life which marriage brings for every young woman.38

  • 39 Athens, Kerameikos Museum 1008: ARV² 806, 92; Erika Kunze-Götte, «Zwei attisch rotfigurige Pyxiden (...)
  • 40 Christine, Sourvinou-Inwood, Studies in Girls’Transitions. Aspects Aspects of the Arkteia and nd Ag (...)

24The painter of a contemporary pyxis found at the Ceramicus has gone one step further (fig. 5).39 He avoids showing any male in his picture; neither Peleus nor Nereus is shown. Only four running women are rendered, who can be identified by the ‘flying’dolphins as fleeing Nereïds, and an altar by a palm tree. These elements refer to the girls’race during the festivals for Artemis at Brauron. On other vase-paintings an altar and palm tree mark the finish of this race, which had some aspects of an initiation ritual for young women.40 By these means the image of this pyxis is clearly focused on the women and their suggested interests.

  • 41 London, British Museum E 774: ARV² 1250, 32; Adrienne Lezzi-Hafter, Der Eretria-Maler. Wege und Weg (...)
  • 42 Cf. Judith M. Barringer, Divine Escorts: Nereids in Archaic and Classical Greek Art, Ann Arbor, 199 (...)
  • 43 Gloria Ferrari, Figures of Speech, Chicago, 2002, p. 44-45

25Another method to link a mythological narrative with the experiences of young Athenian women can be found on a pyxis in the British Museum (fig. 6).41 Beside a door and various wedding gifts — among them two lebetes, a loutrophoros, and a marble or alabaster pyxis (!) — the preparations for the wedding take place. Nothing of this scene recalls a myth except for the names which have been given to each figure. Although neither Peleus nor Thetis is depicted, all the women have the names of Nereïds.42 This does not make the image a mythological wedding, rather it is the wedding all Athenian women wished to have. Moreover, it shows the circle of helpful sisterly companions whom they may have wished to have in this situation.43 In this manner the mythological aspect was an important part of the picture’s message.

  • 44 Lucilla Burn, The Meidias Painter, Oxford, 1987, p. 32-40; Barbara E. Borg, «Eunomia oder: vom Eros (...)

26The naming of figures was also an opportunity for additional allusions. The central figure on this pyxis is obviously the woman with unbounded hair sitting on a klismos. She is depicted opposite the door, or, so to speak, inside the bridal chamber. Her name is Thaleia, literally the feast, so that it is not only a Nereïd’s name, but it would have been understood also as a personification of the wedding feast. The reference to abstract concepts became popular in the second half of the fifth century, especially on the well-known images of Aphrodite and her circle of friends, who were often labeled with various names which can be read as good wishes or praiseworthy values.44

V

27To sum up our observations: We have seen a gradual process of changing attitudes towards the connection between shape and image with the pyxides. During the sixth and early fifth century a great variety of images was used on the boxes. No specific iconography connected only with pyxides can be noted. The repertoire did not differ fundamentally from other shapes. Preferred themes were a fight, athletics, horses, Dionysiac and others connected with drinking wine. These topics mirror the main interests of the Archaic society shaped by the values of the aristocratic elites. The compositions for these stock pictures were sometimes altered to fit on the pyxides. Circular, endless compositions are most suitable for the small cylindrical boxes, whereas tripod pyxides have space for three rectangular pictures, which sometimes are thematically connected and sometimes not. Nevertheless, there are in rare cases special pictures appropriate for certain situations like depictions of funerary ritual.

28A closer connection between the use of the vessel and the decoration is characteristic only for fifth-and forth-century vase-painting. Red-figured pyxides are almost exclusively decorated with images of women or wedding scenes. When a myth was depicted, the composition was altered to focus on this expected thematic field. The painters tried to highlight a female perspective in these traditional narratives.

  • 45 Schmidt, op. cit., p. 113.

29How can we explain these changes? There is no clear evidence for a fundamental change of function or use of the pyxides. We cannot conclude that all sixth-century pyxides with non-female iconography were made for male contexts. On the contrary, if we look for example on the pyxides from the sanctuary of Brauron, where they were mostly votives by young women, we find on the black-figured boxes the same variety of themes as on those from elsewhere.45 It seems that at this time the relationship of the pictorial representation to the actual user of these pyxides was not as important as it was in later times.

30What seems to have changed is, therefore, not the function but the perception of the pyxides. They were seen in the fifth century more as signs for the women’s sphere and the wedding ceremony than as vessels for actual use. Evidence for this growing symbolic value are the many contexts with pyxides between vessels exclusively made for the wedding ceremony. With this symbolic use a specific iconography was required. Since the pyxides were displayed on special occasions and observed by a greater audience it was now possible to transmit specific messages referring to this situation.

31In a broader view these changes seem to be two sides of the same coin. Both the symbolic use of painted pottery and the close connection between the images and the intended use of the vessel can be found with a lot of contemporary Athenian vases. These changes must be seen as part of an intensified social communication in fifth-century Athens. With the growing interest in communicating common values and appropriate behavior, the Athenians payed more attention to the significance of both, objects and images

Fig. 1: Tripod Pyxis, ca. 510/500 BCE, Athens, Ceramicus Museum 1591.

Fig. 1: Tripod Pyxis, ca. 510/500 BCE, Athens, Ceramicus Museum 1591.

Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Athen, neg. n° KER 21226, 21224, 21223.

Fig. 2: Pyxis Type A, ca. 470 BCE, Athens, National Museum 1623A.

Fig. 2: Pyxis Type A, ca. 470 BCE, Athens, National Museum 1623A.

After Ἀρχαιολογικὸν Δελτίον 18, 1963, Chron., pl. 33.

Fig. 3(a, b): Pyxis Type A, ca. 480/70 BCE, Athens, National Museum 14908.

Fig. 3(a, b): Pyxis Type A, ca. 480/70 BCE, Athens, National Museum 14908.

Athens, National Museum.

Fig. 3(c, d): Pyxis Type A, ca. 480/70 BCE, Athens, National Museum 14908.

Fig. 3(c, d): Pyxis Type A, ca. 480/70 BCE, Athens, National Museum 14908.

Athens, National Museum.

Fig. 4: Pyxis Type A, ca. 460/50 BCE, München, Staatliche Antikensammlungen Schoen 64.

Fig. 4: Pyxis Type A, ca. 460/50 BCE, München, Staatliche Antikensammlungen Schoen 64.

Staatliche Antikensammlungen – Koppermann.

Fig. 5: Pyxis Type A, ca. 460 BCE, Athens, Ceramicus Museum 1008.

Fig. 5: Pyxis Type A, ca. 460 BCE, Athens, Ceramicus Museum 1008.

Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Athen, neg. n° KER 3247.

Fig. 6: Pyxis Type A, ca. 430/20 BCE, London, British Museum E 774.

Fig. 6: Pyxis Type A, ca. 430/20 BCE, London, British Museum E 774.

After Adolf Furtwängler, Karl Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei, München, 1904-1932, pl. 57, 3.

Notes

1 Aknowledgements: I would like to thank Marie-Christine Villanueva warmly for inviting me to the round-table on « Images mises en forme » and for inspiring this paper. Many thanks are also due John H. Oakley and Alan Shapiro for fruitful comments and for improving my English.

2 Cf. on framing of vase pictures Hanna Philipp, «Zur Genese des “Bildes” in geometrischer und archaischer Zeit», dans Gottfried Boehm (ed.), Homo Pictor, Leipzig, 2001, p. 87 – 108.

3 On the names Gisela M. A. Richter, Marjorie J. Milne, Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases, New York, 1935; Marjorie J. Milne, «Kylichnis», American Journal of Archaeology 43, 1939, p. 247-254; Jacques Tréheux, «πιςγΙς», Revue Archéologique, 1951, p. 4-11.

4 Cf. Brian A. Sparkes, Lucy Talcott, Black and Plain Pottery of the 6th, 5th, and 4th Century BC, The Athenian Agora 12, Princeton, 1970, p. 173-178; Chiara Mercati, «Le pissidi attiche figurate. Problemi di forma e decorazione», Annali della Facoltà di lettere e filosofia, Università degli studi di Perugia. Studi classici 24, 1986/87, p. 105-137.

5 On the name and the Corinthian forerunners, Humphry Payne, Necrocorinthia, Oxford, 1931, p. 293, Jean-Paul Descœudres, Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Basel 1, Bern, 1981, p. 44.

6 John H. Oakley, «Attic Red-figured Type D Pyxides», dans Athena Tsingarida (éd.), Shapes and Uses of Greek Vases, 7th - 1st Centuries B. C. (forthcoming).

7 Sally R. Roberts, The Attic Pyxis, Chicago, 1978; Mercati, op. cit., p. 26-129.

8 Cf. Ingeborg Scheibler, «Exaleiptra», Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 79, 1964, p. 72-108.

9 Mercati, op. cit., p. 131-133; for an example depicting scenes of women on both body and lid, Athens, National Museum 12465: cf. François Lissarrague, «Women, Boxes, Containers: Some Signs and Metaphors», dans Ellen D. Reeder (ed.), Pandora. Women in Classical Greece, Baltimore, 1995/97, p. 97-101.

10 Alfred Brueckner, Erich Pernice, «Ein Attischer Friedhof», Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 18, 1893, p. 175 grave n° 168 and 10. – With a shell inside: Ursula Knigge, Der Südhügel, Kerameikos 9, Berlin, 1976, p. 170, n° E 3.

11 Rodney S. Young, «Sepulturae intra urbem», Hesperia 20, 1951, p. 93-94.

12 Erika Kunze-Götte et al., Die Nekropole von der Mitte des 6. bis Ende des 5. Jahrhunderts, Kerameikos 7, 2, Berlin, 1999, p. 73, n° 261 (white tablets); p. 137, n° 528 (green substance, see: Karl Kübler, Die Nekropole von der Mitte des 6. bis Ende des 5. Jahrhunderts, Kerameikos 7, 1, Berlin, 1976, p. 159); Georgios E. Mylonas, Τὸ δυτικòν νεκροταϕεῖον τῆς Ἐλευσῖνος, Athens, 1975, p. 352, n° Η 20 (powder); Seraphim I. Charitonidou, «Ἀνασκαϕὴ κλασσικῶν τάϕων παρὰ πλατεῖαν Συντάγματος», Ἀρχαιολογικὴ Ἐϕημερίς, 1958, p. 16-18, n° 11 (red substance); Hestia, 1891, n° 2, p. 240-242 (psimythion); Percy N. Ure, Black Glaze Pottery from Rhitsona in Boeotia, London, 1913, p. 44-45 (white tablets); Paul Perdrizet, Fouilles de Delphes V, 1, Paris 1908, p. 165-166 n° 340 (cinnabar). On make-up in general see: T. Leslie Shear, «Psimythion», dans Classical Studies Presented to Edward Capps, Princeton, 1936, p. 315-317.

13 Cf. Stefan Schmidt, Rhetorische Bilder auf attischen Vasen, Berlin, 2005, p. 91; Georges Daux, «Chronique de fouilles et découvertes archéologiques en Grèce 1957», Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 82, 1958, p. 681, fig. 26 (from Draphi).

14 Schmidt, op. cit., p. 91-92.

15 Homer Thompson, «Activities in the Athenian Agora: 1954», Hesperia 24, 1955, p. 62-66; cf. Gundula Lüdorf, Die Lekane. Typologie und Chronologie einer Leitform attischen Gebrauchskeramik des 6.– 1. Jahrhunderts v. Chr., Rahden, 2000, p. 48-49.

16 But see a sixth century tripod exaleiptron that once contained a greasy substance from a woman’s grave excavated in the early 19th century at Athens: Otto M. von Stackelberg, Die Gräber der Hellenen, Berlin, 1837, p. 10-11, pl. 15.

17 At the Kerameikos: Karl Kübler, Die Nekropole des späten 8. bis frühen 6. Jahrhunderts, Kerameikos 6, 1, Berlin, 1959, p. 79-80, n° lxxv; at Marathon: Valerios Staïs, « ἐν Μαραθῶνι τύμβος», Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 18, 1893, p. 59-61, pl. 4; Vasileios Petrakos, Marathon Athens, 1998, p. 140, fig. 78. For the discussion of the Marathonian evidence see: Andrea Mersch, «Archäologischer Kommentar zu den “Gräbern der Athener und Plataier” in der Marathonia», Klio 77, 1995, p. 55-64; Dyfri Williams, «Refiguring Attic Red-Figure: A Review Article», Revue Archéologique, 1996, p. 249-250; Erich Kistler, Die Opferrinne-Zeremonie, Stuttgart, 1998, p. 41-42.

18 Reinhard Lullies, «Attisch-schwarzfigurige Keramik aus dem Kerameikos» Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 61/62, 1946/47, p. 67, n° 52, pl. 15; Willi Zschitzschmann, «Die Darstellungen der Prothesis in der griechischen Kunst» Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 53, 1928, p. 43, n° 84, Beilage 9.

19 For example: Alfred Brueckner, Erich Pernice, «Ein Attischer Friedhof Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 18, 1893, p. 167, grave n° 87; Athanasios S. Roussopoulos, «Ἀνασκαϕὴ τάϕων ἐν Ἀθήναις», Ἀρχαιολογικὴ Ἐϕημερίς, 1874, p. 485-486.

20 Berlin, Staatliche Museen F 4008: Adolf Furtwängler, Beschreibung Vasensammlung im Antiquarium, Berlin, 1885, p. 1016, n° 4008; Baltimore, Walters Art Museum 48.2091: Ellen D. Reeder (ed.), Pandora, Baltimore, 1995, p. 390-392, n° 127.

21 Irma Wehgartner, Attisch weißgrundige Keramik, Mainz, 1983, p. 217, n° Schmidt, op. cit., p. 94-95.

22 Kunze-Götte et al., op. cit., p. 118, n° 470, p. 123, n° 477. See also a 4th albaster pyxis filled with astragals: ibid., p. 145-146, n° 593.

23 New York, Metropolitan Museum 06.1021.119: Gisela M. A. Richter, Marjorie J. Milne, Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases, New York, 1935, fig. 140; Irma Wehgartner, op. cit., p. 216, n° 1.

24 Amsterdam Allard Pierson Museum 648: ARV² 724, 7; Essen, Folkwang Museum A 10: Heide Froning, Katalog der griechischen und italischen Vasen, Essen, 1982, p. 187 n° 76; London British Museum E 88: ARV² 631, 43; Reeder (ed.), op. cit., p. 97, fig. 8.

25 Ursula Knigge, Der Bau Z, Kerameikos 17, Berlin, 2005, p. 17-19, p. 135-136, pl. 66-67; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 95-98.

26 Schmidt, op. cit., p. 98-99.

27 Ursula Knigge, Der Kerameikos von Athen, Athen, 1988, p. 147, fig. 143; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 99-100, fig. 48.

28 Cf. John H. Oakley, Rebecca H. Sinos, The Wedding in Ancient Athens, Madison, 1993, p. 40, fig. 124-127; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 104-05, fig. 51.

29 Examples with symposium: Providence, Rhode Island School of Design 34.1374: Sally R. Roberts, The Attic Pyxis, Chicago, 1978, p. 30, n° 4; Athens, Agora Museum P 24555: Mary B. Moore, Mary Z. P. Philippides, Attic Black-Figured Pottery, The Athenian Agora 23, Princeton, 1986, p. 256, n° 1286, pl. 90; Berlin, Staatliche Museen F 4009: Heide Mommsen, Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Berlin 7, München, 1991, pl. 46, 6. With komasts: Berlin, Staatliche Museen F 2035: Mommsen, op. cit., pl. 45, 1-3; Athens, National Museum 19271: Roberts, op. cit., p. 33, n° 1; Brauron, Museum 170: Roberts, op. cit., p. 30. With chariot race: Brussels, Musée royal d’art et d’histoire A 1375: Fernand Mayence, Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Bruxelles 1, Paris, 1926, pl. 12, 3; Athens, National Museum 18577: Roberts, op. cit., p. 21, pl. 6, 1-2; Berlin, Staatliche Museen F 4008: Adolf Furtwängler, Beschreibung der Vasensammlung im Antiquarium, Berlin, 1885, p. 1016, n° 4008.

30 Kunze-Götte et al., op. cit., p. 67 n° 242, 8, pl. 40; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 89, fig. 52.

31 Vinzenz Brinkmann, Beobachtungen zum formalen Aufbau und zum Sinngehalt der Friese des Siphnierschatzhauses, München, 1994, p. 114-115.

32 Cf. Schmidt, op. cit., p. 110-111; Olaf Dräger, Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Erlangen 2, München, 2007, p. 61.

33 Lille, Musée 763: ABV 681, 122bis; Juliette de La Genière, «À propos d’un vase grec du Musée de Lille. Une divinité oubliée», Monuments et mémoires. Fondation Eugène Piot 63, 1980, p. 32-62 and of Karl Schefold, Götter-und Heldensagen der Griechen in der Früh-und Hocharchaischen Kunst, München, 1993, p. 325, fig. 364.

34 Athens, National Museum 1623 A: François Lissarrague, «Intrusions au gynécée», dans Paul Veyne (éd.), Les mystères du gynécée, Paris, 1998, p. 163-164, fig. 17; Sean Lewis, The Athenian Woman, London, 2002, p. 81, fig. 2.25; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 114-115, fig. 55.

35 Athens, National Museum 14908: ARV² 924; Alfred Brueckner, Erich Pernice, «Ein Attischer Friedhof», Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 18, 1893, p. 167-170, grave n° 33; Nikolaus Himmelmann, Zur Eigenart des klassischen Götterbildes, München, 1959, p. 17-19, fig. 16; Sally R. Roberts, op. cit., p. 36, n° 9, pl. 18, 1; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 120-121, fig. 58.

36 München, Staatliche Antikensammlungen Schoen 64: ARV² 806, 93; Reinhard Lullies, Eine Sammlung griechischer Kleinkunst, München, 1955, p. 29, pl. 26; Roberts, op. cit., p. 97, n° 8; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 126, fig. 62; Bert Kaeser, «Ein Mensch erringt eine Göttin: Peleus und Thetis, die Eltern Achills», dans Raimund Wünsche (ed.), Mythos Troja, München, 2006, p. 90-91.

37 Christine Sourvinou-Inwood, «Reading» Greek Culture, Oxford, 1991, p. 29-98 Andrew Stewart, «Rape?», dans Ellen D. Reeder (ed.), Pandora. Women in Classical Greece, Baltimore, 1995, p. 74-90; Sean Lewis, The Athenian Woman, London, 2002, p. 199-205; Brunella Germini, «Ambivalenz oder Missbrauch? Bilder der Verfolgung Entführung in der athenischen Vasenmalerei», dans Natascha Sojc (ed.), Neue Fragen neue Antworten. Antike Kunst als Thema der Gender Studies, Münster, 2005, p. 43-53.

38 Cf. Schmidt, op. cit., p. 127-129, 136-139

39 Athens, Kerameikos Museum 1008: ARV² 806, 92; Erika Kunze-Götte, «Zwei attisch rotfigurige Pyxiden aus Gräbern des Kerameikos», Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 108, 1993, p. 80-83, pl. 11-13; Kunze-Götte et al., op. cit., p. 24-25, n° 57, 3, pl. 15; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 129, fig. 64.

40 Christine, Sourvinou-Inwood, Studies in Girls’Transitions. Aspects Aspects of the Arkteia and nd Age Representation in Attic Iconography, Athens, 1988, p. 39-66; Christine Sourvinou-Inwood; “ReadingGreek Culture, Oxford, 1991, p. 99-143; Ellen D. Reeder, «Little Bears», dans Ellen D. Reeder (ed.), Pandora. Women in Classical Greece, Baltimore, 1995, p. 321-328.

41 London, British Museum E 774: ARV² 1250, 32; Adrienne Lezzi-Hafter, Der Eretria-Maler. Wege und Weggefährten, Mainz, 1988, p. 248-250, 346, n° 253, pl. 163-164; John H. Oakley, Rebecca H. Sinos, The Wedding in Ancient Athens, Madison, 1993, p. 166-168, fig. 32-35; François Lissarrague, «Intrusions au gynécée», dans Paul (éd.), Les mystères du gynécée, Paris, 1998, p. 166-168, fig. 19; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 103, 141, fig. 50.

42 Cf. Judith M. Barringer, Divine Escorts: Nereids in Archaic and Classical Greek Art, Ann Arbor, 1995, p. 124-129.

43 Gloria Ferrari, Figures of Speech, Chicago, 2002, p. 44-45

44 Lucilla Burn, The Meidias Painter, Oxford, 1987, p. 32-40; Barbara E. Borg, «Eunomia oder: vom Eros der Hellenen», dans Ralf von den Hoff, Stefan Schmidt (ed.), Konstruktionen von Wirklichkeit. Bilder im Griechenland des 5. und 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr., Stuttgart, 2001, p. 299-314; Barbara E. Borg, Der Logos des Mythos, München, 2002; Schmidt, op. cit., p. 147-150.

45 Schmidt, op. cit., p. 113.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1: Tripod Pyxis, ca. 510/500 BCE, Athens, Ceramicus Museum 1591.
Crédits Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Athen, neg. n° KER 21226, 21224, 21223.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/2459/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 164k
Titre Fig. 2: Pyxis Type A, ca. 470 BCE, Athens, National Museum 1623A.
Crédits After Ἀρχαιολογικὸν Δελτίον 18, 1963, Chron., pl. 33.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/2459/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 392k
Titre Fig. 3(a, b): Pyxis Type A, ca. 480/70 BCE, Athens, National Museum 14908.
Crédits Athens, National Museum.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/2459/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 220k
Titre Fig. 3(c, d): Pyxis Type A, ca. 480/70 BCE, Athens, National Museum 14908.
Crédits Athens, National Museum.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/2459/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 176k
Titre Fig. 4: Pyxis Type A, ca. 460/50 BCE, München, Staatliche Antikensammlungen Schoen 64.
Crédits Staatliche Antikensammlungen – Koppermann.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/2459/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 196k
Titre Fig. 5: Pyxis Type A, ca. 460 BCE, Athens, Ceramicus Museum 1008.
Crédits Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Athen, neg. n° KER 3247.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/2459/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 200k
Titre Fig. 6: Pyxis Type A, ca. 430/20 BCE, London, British Museum E 774.
Crédits After Adolf Furtwängler, Karl Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei, München, 1904-1932, pl. 57, 3.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/2459/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 210k

Auteur

Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Munich

© Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, 2009

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540