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Kylix (Drinking Cup)

A work made of terracotta, black-figure.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, black-figure.


530-520 BCE


Attributed to the Workshop of Nikosthenes
Greek; Athens

About this artwork

This vase honors Dionysos as the god of both wine and the theater. When the drinker raised the cup to his mouth, it doubled almost as a theatrical mask, with the handles serving as ears and the circular hollow representing a mouth. The round, wide eyes staring back at the viewer symbolize the intoxicating effects of the drink, the wine god’s gaze, or both. Drinking vessels decorated in this manner are called eye cups.
Sometimes a nose appeared between the eyes, but the painter of this cup drew boxers, perhaps to celebrate the winner of a local match.


On View, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Kylix (Drinking Cup)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

530 BCE–520 BCE


terracotta, black-figure

Credit Line

Anonymous loan

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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