Chous (Toy Pitcher)

A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.

Date:

400/380 BC

Artist:

Greek; Athens

About this artwork

Toward the end of the 5th century B.C., Athenian potters and painters created a large number of miniature oinochoai (sing. oinochoe), or pitchers, decorated with children at play or imitating adults. It is thought that they were given to the youngest members of the family during the Anthesteria, a three-day celebration of the new vintage of wine and the arrival of spring. These little vessels are called choes (sing. chous), which means libations, after the name of the second day of the festival. Children took part in the festival but did not imbibe wine. A small white water bird has captured the unwanted attention of two naked toddlers. The boy on the left extends his toy pitcher toward it, while his companion bends over to touch it.

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Ancient and Byzantine Art

Artist

Ancient Greek

Title

Chous (Toy Pitcher)

Origin

Athens

Date

400 BC–380 BC

Medium

terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique

Dimensions

8.9 × 6.5 × 6.5 cm (3.51 × 2.57 × 2.56 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson through The Antiquarian Society

Reference Number

1907.15

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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