O1.1 HEPHAESTUS, EILEITHYIA, TETHYS & OCEANUS
|Museum Collection||British Museum, London|
|Catalogue No.||London 1971,1101.1|
|Beazley Archive No.||350099|
|Ware||Attic Black Figure|
|Painter||Signed by Sophilos|
|Date||ca. 580 - 570 B.C.|
Detail of Hephaestus, Eileithyia, Tethys and Oceanus from a painting depicting the procession of gods attending the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.
The crippled god Hephaestus rides side-saddle on an ass, his seat is adorned with the head of a crane. Oceanus appears as a bull-horned man with the tail of a serpentine fish in place of legs. He holds a snake (or an eel) in one hand and a fish in the other. Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, and Tethys, the nurse of the gods, are unremarkable figures, although the latter appears to be an older woman with heavier facial features.
The deities are arranged in sympathetic groupings. Hephaestus is paired with the gods of the world-river where, according to myth, he dwelt after being cast from Olympus. Eileithyia and Tethys, as well as Artemis and the Moirae who precede them in the line (see image K16.1), are goddesses of childbirth and infants.
Detail of the Titan Oceanus.