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Dionysos Across the Museum

If our musings on Dionysos Unmasked: Ancient Sculptures and Early Prints have left you wanting more, you're in luck! Tributes to the intoxicating god of wine and theater appear throughout the museum. Head to the Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art to see the stamnos (or mixing jar) pictured above, which would have been used for diluting wine with water. Each side of the vessel features three women preparing for a festival devoted to Dionysos. The woman on the left holds a rhyton (or drinking cup) and the woman in the middle holds a thyrsos (or ritual staff). The staff is topped with ivy leaves, which were sacred to Dionysos and often feature prominently in artwork that honors the god. . . like the coin below!

This coin shows two different depictions of Dionysos. On the left, we see a young Dionysos, with elaborately styled hair and an ivy crown with berries on it. On the right, Dionysos is portrayed a bit older. He carries a bunch of grapes in his right hand and a cloak and rod in his left. Impress your friends by noticing that the Ancient Greek writing on the far right spells Dionysos.

We invite you to visit Dionysos Unmasked and then explore the rest of the collection to find even more portrayals of this much-depicted god. And if you have the inclination, honor Dionysos the way he would have wanted—with a drink in one of the museum's cafés!

Image Credits:

Attributed to the Chicago Painter. Stamnos (Mixing Jar), about 450 B.C. Greek, Athens. Gift of Philip D. Armour and Charles L. Hutchinson.

Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting the God Dionysos, mid-2nd Century B.C. Greek, minted in Maroneia (Thrace). Gift of Mrs. Emily Crane Chadbourne.