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.
- Ancient Greek
- Kylix (Drinking Cup)
- 530 BC–520 AD
- terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique
- 11.1 cm (4 3/8 in.) × 31.1 cm (12 1/4 in.)
- Anonymous loan