Attic Red-Figure Skyphos

Unknownabout 470 - 460 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

An unusual scene drawn from daily life decorates this red-figure skyphos or drinking cup. On the front, an older woman with unattractive features and a double chin drinks from a skyphos. The servant girl behind her balances a full wineskin and carries a jug. The back of the cup shows a storeroom full of household items. At the left, a stand with lion's-paw feet supports a skyphos and various wine-serving utensils--a ladle, a sieve, and an oinochoe--hang from its hooks. In the center of the room, a cooking pot and grill hang from the wall. Chests and large wine vessels complete the scene. The two sides of the skyphos present a scenario in which the woman has just left the storeroom and is getting drunk. Well-bred Athenian women led very constrained lives. Literary sources indicate that drinking was forbidden for young wives for fear they commit adultery or harm their children. The ban was lifted once the woman was past child-bearing age, as with the woman shown here. This skyphos was meant to entertain a reveler at an all-male symposium or drinking party.

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  • Title: Attic Red-Figure Skyphos
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: about 470 - 460 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 15.3 x 27.5 x 17.9 cm (6 x 10 13/16 x 7 1/16 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: Skyphos
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.AE.265
  • Inscription: Graffito: ER (internal ligature), followed by zeta and pi.
  • 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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