About this artwork
The Greek Symposium
The modern symposium is an academic gathering where people discuss a topic of common interest, debunking old theories and putting forth new hypotheses. Afterward the participants might continue the conversation, discussing their impressions in greater detail or simply socializing over a drink. The men of ancient Athens did the same, regularly coming together in a private home to exchange ideas. The vases displayed in this case were used to prepare, serve, and consume wine at such gatherings. As the evening progressed, participants engaged in other pleasures, including games, performances, and sex.
Larger vases were used for preparing wine at a symposium and smaller vessels like this one were used to serve and drink it.
- Ancient Greek
- Kantharos (Wine Cup) in the Shape of a Female Head
- 480 BC
- terracotta, white-ground and black-figure technique
- 19 × 17.8 × 13.3 cm (7 1/2 × 7 × 5 1/4 in.)
- Museum Purchase Fund