Kylix with a youth carrying pole with two baskets.
Greek, c. 490 BC
Fired clay, red figure technique. 26,5 cm diameter
Inventory number: H605
On the bottom of this drinking bowl, a so-called kylix, we see a young man portrayed. He is dressed in a cloak tucked up at the waist and is wearing a fur hat on his head and shoes on his feet. He is using both hands to hold a yoke on which two wicker baskets are balanced. His restless stance and the posture combine to underline the exercise in balance. A stick lies at the young man’s feet, and an oil bottle and a scraper hang near his left shoulder. The interpretation of the motif is uncertain. For instance, the young man has been seen both as a fisherman and as a representative of some sport. The scene is accompanied by the inscription “HO PAIS KALOS, NAIXI” (The boy is fair, indeed he is), which is regularly seen on Greek vases and so brings us no nearer an interpretation of the motif.
The kylix derives from Athens and is decorated by means of the red-figure technique. The decoration can be attributed to the vase painter Onesimos, who was active in the late Archaic period at the beginning of the 5th century. Onesimos was one of the earliest red-figure painters and is considered one of the finest vase painters of the period.