About this artwork
This refined Athenian stamnos (pl. stamnoi) was used to mix water and wine. Also valued for its beauty, this red-figure vessel (so called because the figures remain the natural color of the clay) portrays either Greek women or maenads, female participants in rites celebrating Dionysos, the god of wine. But unlike the frenzied and whirling figures of other Greek vases, these women convey calm, even elegance. This tender serenity, coupled with a softer, somewhat freer form, is a hallmark of the artist (referred to as the Chicago Painter because of this vase) and has been used to identify other works by him, principally similar stamnoi. Working in the potters’ quarter of mid-fifth-century BC Athens, the painter was active during the construction of the Parthenon, the stylistic influence of which can be seen here. He worked closely with a master potter whose vases were individually shaped in a prescribed range of configurations. With refined designs that are gracefully adapted to its shape, this stamnos is a fine example of red-figure painting during the Classical era. It retains its original lid, a rarity among ancient vases.
- Chicago Painter
- Stamnos (Mixing Jar)
- 450 BC
- terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique
- H. 37 cm (14 5/8 in.); diam. 26 cm (10 1/4 in.)
- Gift of Philip D. Armour and Charles L. Hutchinson