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Pictures of Hades and the torments of
sinners were common in antiquity. (The most famous was a fresco by Polygnotos
in the Lesche (pavilion) at Delphi.)
Outside the temple, on the left is Orpheus, playing a lyre and dancing. His costume is long-flowing and highly embroidered, he wears an oriental tiara, showing him to be a barbarian. He has come to Hades to seek his wife, Eurydice.
Hades, a red figure painting on a large south Italian amphora of 3rd or 4th century BC
Behind Orpheus is a man crowning himself with a myrtle wreath, a woman and a little boy dragging a toy cart. None of these figures can be identified.
Above, in the top left hand corner, a woman sits on a bank in front of a fountain, facing two youths, one with two spears, the other with bathing utensils (oil flask and strigils). Both have bleeding wounds from unhealed wounds around their waists. These are the two sons of Heracles whom he slew in a frenzy. The woman is their mother Megara.
In the top right hand corner are Theseus and Peirithous, with the goddess of Justice, Dike, sitting beside them with drawn sword
Below them are the three judges of the souls of the dead: Triptolemus (standing), Aeacus in the centre and Rhadamanthus to the right. All three have sceptres.
In the lowest row of figures you an see:
The presence of Heracles explains the group of Theseus and Peirithous, for Heracles brought Theseus back with him to the world above. The artist has suggested this by showing Theseus as taking his farewell of Peirithous, who is guarded by Justice and cannot escape.