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Euphronios
Red-Figure Psykter with Feasting Hetaerae

505-500 BC Clay;

h 34 cm, diam of rim 14.2 cm, diam of stand 14.5 cm

This psykter is a rare vessel by the vase painter Euphronios, signed: "Euphronios painted". It's purpose is for cooling wine - such vessels of original form and with a hollow stand were filled with water and placed in the crater with wine. The artist chose an interesting subject, a game of cottabus, which was often played at Greek feasts. Besides signing his own name, Euphronios also inscribed the names of all the hetaerae, or concubines; with a cup twisted around her finger, one of them, Smikra, is throwing wine at a mark in dedication to her beloved, inscribed in purple by Smikra: "To you I dedicate this drop, Leagros." This simple yet expressive composition is in keeping with the form of the vessel and looks like a frieze. The artist carefully and elegantly painted various details: the wreaths of vine leaves over caps, the round earrings and amulet-stones on thin laces.

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