Komasts or revelers frolic around the exterior of this Athenian red-figure cup. The men dance and hold drinking cups, while female attendants provide the music. The unusual feature of this vase is the odd way the men are dressed. They wear long chitons and turban-like headdresses, and attendants shelter them with parasols. Several dozen vases with similarly dressed revelers survive. Specialists call these scenes of men in fancy dress Anakreontic, after the poet Anakreon, who came to Athens from East Greece in the late 500s B.C. Such clothing was worn in the Greek colonies on the coast of Turkey and in the neighboring kingdom of Lydia. Scholars argue that the adoption of such dress for symposia, or drinking parties, was part of a larger infiltration of East Greek art and ideas into Athenian culture beginning in the 520s B.C. Others have interpreted these men in feminine attire in the context of rituals for Dionysos, the wine-god associated with the blurring of conventions.
A quieter scene decorates the interior of the cup, with a young man offering a flower to a standing woman holding a mirror.