About This Artwork

Greek, Athens
Attributed to Douris (painter)

Rhyton (Drinking Vessel) in the Shape of a Donkey Head, about 460 B.C.

Terracotta, red-figure technique
H. 20 cm (7 1/8 in.); diam. 9.3 cm (3 5/8 in.)

Museum Purchase Fund, 1905.345

This drinking cup could not have been set down without its contents spilling. It is fashioned after the head of a bridled donkey with a white muzzle, teeth, and ears. Like the naked satyr chasing a fleeing maenad on the vessel’s neck, the donkey belongs to the retinue of the wine god Dionysos. Douris, one of the great Athenian vase painters of first half of the fifth century B.C., decorated this amusing cup.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Ancient Art Galleries, Gallery 155, April 20, 1994 - February 6, 2012.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151, November 11, 2012 - July 17, 2015.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Dionysos Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints," Gallery 150 and 154, July 31, 2015 - February 15, 2016.

Publication History

Daniel Rich, "A Rhyton in the Brygan Manner," American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 34 (1930), p. 53.

David Robinson and Cornelia Harcum, A Catalogue of the Greek Vases in the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, Toronto, (University of Toronto Press, 1930), p. 171.

Daniel Catton Rich, "A Rhyton in the Brygan Manner, in Intern Studio (Aug. 1931), pp. 20-21, 74, figs. 1 and 2.

Herbert Hoffman, Attic Red-Figured Rytha, (Mainz, 1962), pp. 15 and 45, No. 120, and pl. 23, Nos. 3 and 4.

J.D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1963), pp. 445 (no. 259), 1653.

Warren G. Moon and Louise Berge, Greek Vase-Painting in Midwestern Collections, (The Art Institute of Chicago, 1979), pp. 190-191, cat. no. 107.

Eva C. Keuls, The Reign of the Phallus, (New York: Harper + Row Publishers, 1985), Plate 289.

John G. Pedley, Ancient Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1994, pp. 41-43 (ill.).

Karen Alexander, "New Gallery," in Minerva: The International Review of Ancient Art and Archaeology, Vol. 5, No. 3, (May/June, 1994), pp. 30. (ill.)

Diana Buitron-Oliver, Douris: A Master Painter of Athenian Red Figure Vases, (Verlag Phillip Vonz Zabern, 1995). p. 87, E18.

--. "Galleries and Museums," The Chicago Reader, (Sept. 15, 1995), pp. 17, 19 (ill.).

Karen B. Alexander, "From Plaster to Stone: Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago," in Recasting the Past: Collecting and Presenting Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago, by Karen Manchester, (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2012), p. 25.

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