The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Black-Figure Mastos

Object Details

Title:

Attic Black-Figure Mastos

Artist/Maker:

Attributed to Psiax (Greek (Attic), active about 525 - 510 B.C.)

Culture:

Greek (Attic)

Place:

Athens, Greece (Place Created)

Date:

520–500 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Object Number:

90.AE.122

Dimensions:

12.1 × 20.5 × 13.3 cm (4 3/4 × 8 1/16 × 5 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

A young woman plays the double flutes on this black-figure mastos or breast-shaped cup. The other side of the vase depicts a woman flourishing a branch and an ivy sprig. These attributes, as well as the nebris or animal skin that she wears over one shoulder, identify her as a maenad, a female follower of Dionysos, the god of wine.

A mastos was a drinking cup designed for use at a symposium. A relatively rare form produced by Athenian potters only in the later 500s B.C., it provided a challenge to the drinker. The nipple at the base would not have provided a stable support, and any wine within would have to be consumed before the vessel was put down.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1979

Private Collection (Switzerland)

- 1990

Acanthus Gallery (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1990.

Bibliography