Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Yoram Lehmann
Attic red-figure kylix by the Antiphon Painter
Athens, Greece
490-480 BCE
H: 12.7 cm; Diam: 39.7 cm
Bequest of Norbert Schimmel, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Accession number: 91.71.307
The decoration on this exquisite wine cup (kylix) is attributed to the Antiphon Painter, a major cup painter of the Late Archaic Period. The Antiphon Painter's style features oversized heads, curly hair with heavy, scalloped edges, a black broken line that divides the torso, muscles rendered with great delicacy in a diluted glaze, and the use of relief lines.

The festive drinking party (symposium), and the revel (komos), well-known aspects of life in Athenian male society, are illustrated. Displays of excess and exhilaration are conveyed by a dancing youth holding a staff, a drunken, bearded reveler clasping his head while vomiting, and another supporting himself precariously on his staff. Various receptacles associated with wine are depicted: an open bowl for mixing wine and water, a deep cup held by a youth, and a wine pourer.

The inscriptions read: kalos (handsome) above the staff of the vomiting man and on the krater; the word telos (the end) beside the drunken man, which seems to refer to his empty cup or to the fact that the participants are in the final stage of a drunken revel. Kalos also appears in an inscription in the interior of the vessel praising the beauty of a contemporary Athenian aristocrat named Aristarchos.

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir