Does and Peacocks Approaching a Kantharos-Fountain

Photo: © by Jan Piebe Tjepkema.

4th century
Detail from a baptistery floor mosaic in Stobi, North Macedonia

The shape of the fountain is derived from that of the Greek kantharos, lacking the handles that define that genre but retaining on the body the traditional elongated palm-leaf design (see below). Usually in images of this type the deer that approach are males; here, the artist has even emphasized the sex of the does by adding an udder to the one on the left.

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Read more about the fountain, peacock, and kantharos symbols.


This is the baptistery itself, photographed from above. Like many from the 4th century, it is hexagonal in shape. (Photo © by Jan Piebe Tjepkema)
A Greek (South Italian) kantharos from the 4th century B.C., with the elongated palm-leaf design on the body and an ivy tendril on the shoulder (a Dionysiac reference). Location: Metropolitan Museum, 41.162.39. Photo: Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.