Penthesilea brought her Amazon warriors to help the Trojans defend their city, but was killed in combat with Achilles, the greatest of the Greek warriors. The scene on this vase shows Achilles looming above her as she sinks to the ground. Achilles's face is masked and protected by his helmet; Penthesilea's helmet is pushed back to expose her features and emphasize her vulnerability at this vital moment. Her spear passes harmlessly across Achilles's chest, while his pierces her throat and blood spurts out. According to a later version of the story, at this very moment the eyes of the two warriors met and they fell, too late, in love.
See also the other side:
Dionysos, god of wine, is shown with his son Oinopion
About 540 BC. British Museum, London