Side A: kantharos held by maenad on right

Side B: head of maenad

Handle: right of side A

Side A:satyr on left

Side A: maenad on right, lower half

Side B: maenad, midsection

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Side A: Dionysos with maenads and satyrs. Side B: Satyrs and maenad.
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Painter: Name vase of the Curti Painter
Context: Said to be from Curti
Date: ca. 440 BC - ca. 430 BC

H. 0.454 m.; D. 0.365 m.; D. with handles 0.405 m.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 1042, 1; Beazley Addenda 2, 320.
Shape: Stamnos
Beazley Number: 213538
Period: Classical


Intact and in excellent condition.

Decoration Description:

Side A: A thiasos, with Dionysos and his entourage in procession to right. The god is in the center, flanked by two pairs of satyrs and maenads. He wears a chiton and himation, an ivy wreath, and a thick fillet (mitra) with knotted "horns." In his left hand he holds his thyrsos vertically, as he twists around to pour a libation from his kantharos (drawn with careful foreshortening). The maenad behind him carries a jug in her right hand and a blazing torch in her left (the flames in added white). Her eyes meet the god's, whose long curly locks fall about his shoulders. The maenad wears a peplos and an ivy wreath, the latter over a band that secures her hair in a chignon. In front of her at left is a satyr playing the double-pipes (auloi). He is shorter than the statuesque maenad and is wearing an ivy wreath with white berries. Like all the satyrs on the vase, his more subtle musculature is rendered in golden dilute glaze. Behind and to the right of Dionysos is a second satyr, also wearing an ivy wreath, who is playing a lyre (barbiton). With his right hand he strikes the stings with a plektron, which is attached to the lyre by a white cord. Before him, at far right. is a second maenad, carrying a thyrsos in her right hand and a kantharos in the palm of her upraised left hand. She wears a peplos and has short, unbound hair. Her head is thrown back in drunken ecstasy, her lips parted in a paean for the god.

Side B: A maenad stands to right between two satyrs. She wears a himation, a chiton with dilute spots and a dotted border, and a sakkos decorated with dilute zigzags. In her right hand she holds her thyrsos vertically. The satyr facing her at right proffers a kantharos, which sits in the palm of his right hand. Like the others satyrs on the vase, he is balding, but unlike them he has straight rather than curly hair. He too carries a thyrsos, which he rests on his left shoulder. The second satyr, at left, holds a wineskin decked with a red wreath; he holds the neck as though in readiness to fill the cup of his compatriot. The tails of both satyrs are simply drawn with thick black strokes, unlike the more finely delineated tails of the satyrs on Side A.

Below each handle is a pair of stacked palmettes, from which scrolling tendrils reach up to enclose another pair of palmettes above the handles; between these is a fifth palmette pointing downward. Bands of egg pattern circle the rim and partly enclose the handle roots. A band of black tongues circles the shoulder below the neck. The groundline circling the lower body consists of groups of three linked maeanders, running alternately left and right, separated by cross-squares. The lower foot and the fillet above the foot are reserved.

Shape Description:

Philippaki assigns this vase to a transitional type of the larger Polygnotan Class, characterized by a high neck, broad flaring mouth, swelling body, narrow base, and long handles.

Collection History:

Bequest of J. C. Hoppin. Bought at Santa Maria di Capua in 1897.

Sources Used:

CVA, Hoppin-Gallatin; Philippaki 1967.

Other Bibliography:

CVA, Hoppin-Gallatin, USA 1, 9-10, pls. 14-15; Philippaki 1967, 130, no. 6; Boardman 1989, fig. 146; LIMC, III, 455, pl. 336, Dionysos 350.