Attic Red-Figure Kylix

Onesimos500 - 490 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

A satyr, a semi-human creature of Greek mythology, crawls over a large rocky outcropping toward a sleeping maenad, whom he is about to kiss. The maenad, one of the female followers of Dionysos, the god of wine, reclines on a striped cushion. The wineskin in the background may explain her sound sleep. Filling the interior of this fragmentary red-figure kylix or cup, this scene of an erotically charged encounter between the human and bestial companions of Dionysos was a particularly fitting decoration for a vessel used at a symposium or drinking party. Sexual sparring between satyrs and maenads, the one side pursuing and the other evading, was a favorite theme on symposium vessels. The image of the satyr creeping up on his helpless sleeping prey had a particular appeal. Each side of the exterior of the cup once displayed a figure of a dancing satyr shown in a complex pose. The best preserved of these satyrs is shown from the back; only the profile-view legs, tail, and drinking horn remain of the other.

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  • Title: Attic Red-Figure Kylix
  • Creator: Attributed to Onesimos
  • Date: 500 - 490 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 8.3 x 30.5 x 23.5 cm (3 1/4 x 12 x 9 1/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Cup
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.AE.607
  • Inscription: Tondo: on the wineskin, KALOS; on either side of it, HO PAIS KALOS. A: KALOS B: [KAL]OS
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 114, Dionysos and the Theater
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Classification: Vessels