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Unknown artist, Greek, Attica
Wine Jug (Oinochoe), ca. 490 BCE
Terracotta, red-figure
Height: 23.8 cm (9 3/8 inches) (Handbook 2008)
Gift of Mrs. Gustav Radeke 22.213

On View

Greek

Wine Jug (Oinochoe)

Unknown artist, Greek, Attica
Wine Jug (Oinochoe), ca. 490 BCE
Terracotta, red-figure
Height: 23.8 cm (9 3/8 inches) (Handbook 2008)
Gift of Mrs. Gustav Radeke 22.213

Throughout the fifth century BCE, Athenian potters and painters created vessels that were partly sculptural, most often formed as a human or animal head, such as this red-figure jug in the form of a woman’s head. These objects combined modeling, as seen in the face and the front of the hair, with painted ornamentation, such as the elaborately decorated head cover. Head vases were likely used during an all-male drinking party (symposium), where their anthropomorphic forms would have enlivened the assortment of vessels used for storing, mixing, pouring, and drinking wine. The vessel’s form is particularly appropriate to its function, as women traditionally poured wine from a jug of this sort into the libation bowl of a departing warrior, who would then pour the liquid offering for the gods onto the ground.


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