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Black-Figure Siana Cup

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: Greek, Attic
: 560 B.C.
: Ceramic
: H: 13.6 cm (5.3 in) D: 27.9 cm (10.9 in)

The Gilbert collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts, acquired in Montreal, 6 November 1995.


This Siana cup is very large, as is typical of Attic objects of this shape produced during the second quarter of the 6th century B.C. Its name derives from the ancient city where it was first found: Siana, on the Greek island of Rhodes. The interior depicts a warrior, naked except for his high-crested helmet, carrying a round shield and spear. He runs left, his feet stepping on the curving line of an ornately colored tondo, with concentric lines and tongues that alternate between purple and black. Purple and white pigments employed elsewhere for design are still visible in the blazons, and on the central horse in a cavalcade of five galloping horsemen in the cup’s primary scene. Dressed in short chitons (chitoniskoi), these horsemen prepare to lance their spears. Interestingly, because of a shortage of space, the final horse is depicted as half-figure. On the B side, three pairs of dueling warriors are all also equipped with high-crested helmets, shields and spears.


BRIJDER H. A. G., Siana cups I and Komast cups, Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam, 1983, p. 252-253, no. 173, pl. 34 a-b, 36 j.

The Gilbert Collection: by Phoenix Ancient Art, New York, 2019


La Biennale, Grand Palais, Paris, 11-17 September 2019;

PAD London, Berkeley Square, London, 30 September 6 – October 2019

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