Private Collection (Switzerland)
Acanthus Gallery (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1990.
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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 103, Athenian Vases
Attic Black-Figure Mastos
Attributed to Psiax (Greek (Attic), active about 525 - 510 B.C.)
Athens, Greece (Place Created)
12.1 × 20.5 × 13.3 cm (4 3/4 × 8 1/16 × 5 1/4 in.)
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.
Mertens, Joan R. "Some New Vases by Psiax," Antike Kunst 22 (1979), pp. 22-37, pp. 22-37, pl. 10, 1-4.