Attic Red-Figure Oinochoe (Shape III, Chous)

Group of Boston 10.190420 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Three boys wearing leafy crowns play knucklebones on this Athenian red-figure oinochoe or jug. This special form of oinochoe, called a chous, was used during the Anthesteria, a three-day festival in honor of Dionysos, the god of wine. On the first day of the festival, the new wine was opened; a drinking contest on the second day used these jugs to hold a standard amount of wine.

The scenes depicted on the choes often portray the revelry of the festival and the activities of children. The prevalent role of children in the decoration of choes presumably reflects the importance of the festival to children. On the second day of the festival, in addition to the drinking contest, three-year-old boys were formally accepted into their fathers' kinship groups, becoming part of the community.

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  • Title: Attic Red-Figure Oinochoe (Shape III, Chous)
  • Creator: Group of Boston 10.190
  • Date: 420 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 17.3 cm (6 13/16 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: Chous
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 96.AE.28
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 207, Women and Children in Antiquity
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Classification: Vessels


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