Stamnos depicting women congregated about an idol of Dionysos
Early Classical Period
about 450 B.C.
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Height: 47.4 cm (18 11/16 in.); diameter 33.4 cm (13 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Red Figure
Greek Classical Gallery (Gallery 215B)
Principal design a sacrifice to Dionysos, encircling the vase. On the front an archaic idol of Dionysos, with a large disc on each shoulder; in front a table with amphorae on it, and sacrificial cakes. Women on each side, and others under the handles and on the other side.
In the scene depicted here, women are gathered at a festival of Dionysus. The women have erected an image of the god in this outdoor celebration. A mask of Dionysus has been hung on a pole while drapery held by large pins suggests the body of the makeshift cult image. The women have decorated the idol with garlands of ivy. Loaves or cakes have been heaped on the table in front of the image of the god as offerings to him. One of the celebrants ladles wine from a stamnos while a woman plays the pipes to add to the festive air of the ceremony. It is notable that these women are not maenads, the followers of Dionysus on the margins of society. These Greek women were allowed to worship Dionysus at a state-sponsored festival.
By 1890: with Edward Perry Warren (according to E. Robinson vase catalogue: purchased in Rome, 1890 as an Anonymous gift); November 4, 1890: gift of Edward Perry Warren to MFA
Gift of Edward Perry Warren