A Greek cup by the ‘Foundry Painter’

By: E. H. D.

Originally Published in 1931

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THE Museum has had the good fortune to acquire, through the generous gift of Mr. Arthur H. Lea, a Greek cup, painted by the ‘Foundry Painter,’ so-called after his most famous vase, which depicts the interior of a foundry. Mr. Lea’s gift once belonged to the collection of his father, the late Henry C. Lea. It is a small piece of that perfected form of kylix which was turned out by Greek potters at the end of the Persian wars, 480-470 B.C.

Kylix depicting a naked youth with a pitcher in the center, and a battle on the outside
Plate XI — A Greek Drinking Cup of About 480 B.C.
Museum Object Number: 31-19-2

A detailed account of this cup will appear in a forthcoming number of the Museum Journal, but a brief description here will enable the visitor to the Museum meanwhile to view it More appreciatively. In the circular picture on the inside [Plate XI] is a boy preparing for the delights of the banquet. He is filling his cup from the big jar of wine but some one calls and he turns, letting the wine spill. On both pictures of the exterior a fierce battle wages; on one face two Greeks are fighting a Centaur whose massive figure is boldly flung across the center of the field, his only weapon a tree, torn from his forest home. The lithe young Greek on the right has been forced to his knees, his back bruised and bleeding, but he is far from being hors de combat. His spear is aimed straight at the centaur’s heart, and at the same time his comrade, peeking over his shield, attacks the centaur from behind. On the other side a skillful bowman in Eastern costume has dispatched one warrior and apparently will account for a second.

These are great theme, the conflict of Greek with beast, and Greek with barbarian, the same themes which were used for the sculptured ornament of many a Greek temple. They are treated here with a boldness and beauty that makes of a small drinking cup a great work of art.


Cite This Article

D., E. H.. "A Greek cup by the ‘Foundry Painter’." Museum Bulletin III, no. 1 (November, 1931): 23-26. Accessed May 25, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/837/

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