Oinochoe (Pitcher)

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Greek, Athens
Attributed to The Painter of Naples 3136

Oinochoe (Pitcher), about 440 B.C.

Terracotta, red-figure technique
H. 19.3 cm (7 5/8 in.) diam. 13.7 cm (5 3/8 in.)
Gift of Martin A. Ryerson through The Antiquarian Society, 1907.12

Below the pouring spout of this shiny black vessel is a youthful musician holding a seven-stringed lyre, its sound box rendered to look like tortoiseshell. The plectrum, or pick, is tied to the lowermost of the instrument’s two upright bars. A himation, or mantle, falls from his left shoulder. Unusually, he wears leggings. The wreath encircling his head is a common accessory of symposium attendees. Perhaps he has or will perform for the gathering of men.

—Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Form and Function, March 3, 1986-October 8, 1986.

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Human Figure in Greek and Roman Art: From the Permanent Collection (Part 2)," Gallery 120A, January 13, 1989-February 21, 1990.

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

J.D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase Painters, (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1963), p. 632, No. 2.

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. 38.