Early Classical Period
about 460 B.C.
The Blenheim Painter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 106.
Height: 38 cm (14 15/16 in.); diameter: 32 cm (12 5/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Red Figure
Not On View
Side A: Dionysos and two maenads in combat with a giant.
Side B: A satyr in a chariot drawn by two other satyrs.
Dionysus, god of wine, can be seen on this vase fighting a Giant with the assistance of two maenads, female followers of Dionysus. The Olympian gods fought the ancient race of Giants for rule over the world. The Giants, children of the original mother goddess, Gaia, rebelled against the rule of the Olympian gods and goddesses, but their revolt was easily quelled. Dionysus killed many Giants, trapping them in his vines. Here, he strikes a Giant with his vine-covered staff, the thyrsos. One of the maenads wields a thyrsos as well while her other companion prepares to throw a large rock at the Giant. The vase painter has taken on a challenging way to depict the Giant, using foreshortening to render the lower body. On the other side of this vase, two satyrs, common companions of Dionysus, draw another satyr in a chariot. While satyrs are usually playful mischievous, they assist with the serious battle taking place on this vase.
By 1900: with E. P. Warren (according to Warren's records: Athens: from near the present cemetery); purchased by MFA from E. P. Warren, February 1900
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund