About This Artwork

Greek; Athens

Kylix (Drinking Cup), about 540/530 BC

Terra-cotta, decorated in the black-figure technique
9.2 x 20.5 x 14.6 cm (3 5/8 x 8 1/8 x 5 3/4 in.)

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson through The Antiquarian Society, 1907.10

The Greek Symposium

The modern symposium is an academic gathering where people discuss a topic of common interest, debunking old theories and putting forth new hypotheses. Afterward the participants might continue the conversation, discussing their impressions in greater detail or simply socializing over a drink. The men of ancient Athens did the same, regularly coming together in a private home to exchange ideas. The vases displayed in this case were used to prepare, serve, and consume wine at such gatherings. As the evening progressed, participants engaged in other pleasures, including games, performances, and sex.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Greek Vases - Form and Function, ? 3, 1986 - October 8, 1986.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Human Figure in Early Greek Art, A Preview Part I, Gallery 101A, September 1, 1988 - September 24, 1989.

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 - present.

Publication History

P. Heesen, Athenian Little-Master Cups (Chairebooks, 2011), p. 116 fn 690 and 192 fn 1181.

J.T. Haldenstein, Little Master Cups, Studies in 6th Century Attic Black-Figure Vase Painting (PhD diss., University of Cincinnati, 1982), p. 133.

W. Froehner, Collection van Branteghem: Vases peints et terre cuites antiques (Paris, 1892), no. 14.

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