Greek large red figure oinochoe with maenad decoration




A very large red figure pottery oinochoe with a trefoil lip and wide belly. The front of the vase is painted with two bacchantes or maenads each hoding a situla and thyrsus. The figure to the right of the scene wears a leopard skin draped over her shoulder and exposing her left breast.

The sides and back of the vase are painted with three palmettes separated by two floral sprigs. Touches of white painted decroation can be seen on details such as the situlae, belt and leopard skin spots.

Maenads were mythological female revellers associated with Dionysos, the god of wine. They were portrayed as rather fearsomely drunken women who roamed distant mountains and indulged in frenzied dancing and orgiastic rituals.

Greek, South Italian colonies, late 4th Century BC

Some 19th Century restoration to the front of the rim, foot chipped. The surface is discoloured and worn in places, both faces of the figures and one hand have been re-painted rather crudely though the remainder of the painted decoration is original.

34 x 20 cms

Ex. private collection, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France; acquired from a collection formed in the 19th or early 20th Century