Black-Figure Eye Cup: Iris and Satyrs (A, B); Gorgoneion (I)

Black-Figure Eye Cup: Iris and Satyrs (A, B); Gorgoneion (I)

c. 520-510 BC


Diameter: 21.3 cm (8 3/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1926.514


Did you know?

The eye cup takes its name from the large eyes on its exterior.


Along with two large sets of eyes on its exterior, this drinking vessel also features other figures: a winged female, probably Iris, between each pair of eyes, and pairs of satyrs flanking them; a winged dolphin beneath each handle; and a frontal Gorgoneion, or face of Medusa, baring her teeth and tongue within the tondo. Although the eyes and Gorgoneion may serve to ward off evil, they also make for fluid identities while drinking, inviting drinkers to enter the mythical realm. For when tilting such cups to imbibe, drinkers confront monstrous beings while simultaneously masking their faces from others.

See also
GR - Greek
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 

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