Wine Cup with Pentathletes

Attributed to Carpenter Painter510 - 500 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

On the interior of this Athenian red-figure kylix or cup, a seated youth pulls his older male lover down toward him for a kiss. In Athenian aristocratic circles in the Archaic period, older men often courted youths. Such homosexual relationships were viewed as a key element in the socialization of youths, involving strong elements of mentoring as well as eroticism. The exterior of the cup depicts youths and bearded men training in various athletic activities, including the javelin, discus, and long jump. The youth in the long robe playing the flutes provides music for the training. Greek vases of the Archaic period frequently depict favorite pursuits of the aristocratic patrons who used the vessels; scenes of athletic training, another key element in the socialization of Athenian youths, are among the most common.


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