Janus-faced Kylix; all sides; terracotta with red, black and white terra sigillata; h. 20 cm, Ø 30,5 cm; 2020; S. Thole

The form of the contemporary ceramic cup “Janus-faced Kylix” is inspired by the eponymous ancient Greek wine drinking vessel used at a symposium. This cup has two faces, that become masks when you drink from this kylix. One side depicts the white face of a young woman, a Kore. When the other side shows a Gorgon. In classical mythology the Gorgones were three powerful, winged daimones named Medousa (Medusa), Sthenno and Euryale. They were depicted with broad, round heads, serpentine locks of hair, large staring eyes, wide mouths, lolling tongues, the tusks of swine, flared nostrils, and sometimes short, coarse beards. These two images are two sides of the “female coin”.
Just like it’s classical inspiration, the tondo (the almost flat interior cercle of the base of the cup) is painted. As the representations would be covered with wine, the scenes would only be revealed in stages as the wine was drained. They were often designed with this in mind, with scenes created so that they would surprise or titillate the drinker as they were revealed. The tondo of “Janus-faced Kylix” holds the design of a Labyrinth (see: plate Labyrinth).

Back janus-faced Kylix; Kore-side; terracotta with red, black and white terra sigillata; h 20 cm, Ø 30,5 cm; 2020; S. Thole
Front janus-faced Kylix, Gorgon-side; terracotta with red, black and white terra sigillata; h 20 cm, Ø 30,5 cm; 2020; S. Thole