Bochum Vase Sappho

Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität, Bochum.png

Image: Bochum, Ruhr-Universität, Kunstsammlungen: S508.

Object description: Red-figure Attic kalyx-krater. Attributed to the Tithonus Painter. Dated stylistically to 480-470 BC (Yatromanolakis 2005). Side A shows a female figure (identified by inscription as Sappho) holding a barbitōn lyre in her left hand. She appears to be walking to the right, but looks back over her right shoulder, and extends her right arm behind her. Side B shows a female youth (identified as ‘the girl’ in an inscription) who likewise looks back over her shoulder. Both women wear a sakkos (headdress). The iconographical field on both sides is underlined by a meander band.

Inscriptions: Side A: (retrograde) ΣΑΦΦΟ (Sappho). Side B: ΗΕ ΠΑΙΣ (the girl).


  • The Beazley Archive Pottery Database, vase no. 4979:
  • Schefold, K. and Bayard, A.-C. 1997. Die Bildnisse der antiken Dichter, Redner und Denker. Basel. pp. 86-87, Abb. 20.
  • Yatromanolakis, D. 2005. "Contrapuntal Inscriptions". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 152: 16-30.
    • 2007. Sappho in the Making: The Early Reception. Cambridge, Mass.