Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, INV.

When the poet Orpheus was decapitated by the Thracian women, his head traveled across the sea to the island of Lesbos, where it opened shop as a necromancer. In this fifth-century B.C. Attic vase, from Basel’s Antikenmuseum, a client climbs down a rope to consult the skull, which is attended by the muses (Orpheus’s mother is Calliope, the muse of epic poetry).