An essential moment for the athlete, in a certain sense “ritualised” and therefore often represented, is the treatment of the body with perfumed oil followed by cleansing at the end of a competition, as a newly invigorating anointment. In the inner tondo of this kylix a gymnasium scene is depicted. Two naked athletes, who have left their robes on a small pillar, are cleansing themselves using strigils. In the background a container of perfumed oil, in the upper centre, and a bag for powder or sand, are suspended. On the exterior, on each side, here are two pairs of naked athletes, engaged in cleansing their bodies in various poses, assisted by a pedagogue.
The kylix is attributed to the Painter of Euaion, an Attic ceramic painter active around the middle of the fifth century B.C., thus named after the acclaimed ephebus on the Louvre G 401 goblet. He was a follower of Douris and painted almost exclusively kylikes, with a particular propensity for gymnasium scenes or warriors; his study of the male nude in static attitudes seems almost to emulate statuary models.