Black-figure amphora

Swing Painter"540-530 BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art
Athens, Greece

On the front side of the amphora, which is attributed to the Swing Painter, two Satyrs flank ivy-wreathed Dionysus. On the back is a scene of conversation between Hermes and Athena. Dionysus, as god of wine, was a fount of joy for mortals, as observed in the Iliad, soothing sorrows and bringing sleep and oblivion from everyday trials and the daily toils of labor. He was a particularly popular subject in 6th c. BC Attic vase-painting, for the decoration of vessels associated with heavy wine-bibbing (amphorae, kraters, oinochoai, kylikes). The high frequency of such scenes on Attic vases from the second half of the 6th c. BC attests to the increasing significance of the cult of Dionysus in Attica, possibly as a result of the policy of the Peisistratids, who for populist reasons sought to boost rural festivals. The idealized depictions of the Archaic period present Dionysus as aged, bearded and dressed, holding his beloved wine-cup. Incised on the base of the vase is the sign T, which was made by the potter. Such graffiti seem to have been incised after firing and referred to the price or were symbols relating to the trade of the vase. Possibly the T is a symbol of a monetary unit (T = tetrobol) and consequently denoted the price of the vase.


  • Title: Black-figure amphora
  • Creator: Swing Painter
  • Date Created: "540-530 BC" - ""
  • Read more: <a href="http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=resource&cresrc=795&cnode=55&clang=1">Read more</a>
  • Provenance: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: w180 x h405 mm
  • Period: Archaic period
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Type: amphora
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, N.P. Goulandis Collection, no. 716, http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=25&clang=1
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: clay

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps