Wine Cup with a Satyr and a Nymph

Onesimosabout 500 - 490 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

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.


  • Title: Wine Cup with a Satyr and a Nymph
  • Date Created: about 500 - 490 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: w30.5 x h8.3 cm
  • Type: Cup
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=14943
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • painter: Attributed to Onesimos (Greek (Attic), active 500 - 480 B.C.)
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Eroticism, Satyrs, Maenads


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