Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Bowdoin Eye Painter


Attic Red-Figure Eye Cup

Creation Date

ca. 525 BC


6th century BC


5 5/16 in. x 16 3/16 in. (13.5 cm x 41.12 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

Ancient Mediterranean, Caere, Etruria (Cerveteri, Italy)

Medium and Support


Credit Line

Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Esq., Honorary Degree, 1926


Public Domain

Accession Number

Originally used for communal drinking at an Athenian symposium, this cup features athletic figures and palmette motifs, painted in the later red-figure style. The eponymous eye designs on the sides of the cup were understood to provide protection from evil. The ear-like curved handles and mouth-like open base a produced a playful but dramatic mask when the cup was raised to the mouth, and the drinker took on the appearance of a woodland spirit. Dezsö selected this piece due to its exploration of the fluid connection between mythical reality and familiar life.

Additional Images

Additional Image recto

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