Obverse, young man singing and playing the kithara Reverse, judge
This work is a masterpiece of Greek vase-painting because it brings together many features of Athenian culture in an artistic expression of the highest quality. The shape itself is central to the effect. Through the symmetry, scale, and luminously glossy glaze on the obverse, it offers a carefully composed three-dimensional surface that endows the subject with volume. The identity of the singer is given by his instrument, the kithara, which was a type of lyre used in public performances, including recitations of epic poetry. The figure on the reverse is identified by his garb and wand. While the situation is probably a competition, the subject is the music itself. It transports the performer, determines his pose, and causes the cloth below the instrument to sway gently.
Said to be from Nola (Beazley 1963, p. 197, no. 3).
Until 1919, private collection, UK; May 22-23, 1919, purchased by W.R. Hearst through Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, London; from 1919, collection of William Randolph Hearst, New York and San Simeon, CA; acquired November 26, 1956, purchased from the Hearst Corporation.
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