Drinking cup (kantharos)

Greek, South Italian
Early Hellenistic Period
about 335–325 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 053.


13.5 cm (5 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



Side A: Dionysos seated on throne to right.
Side B: Maenad rushing to right.
Shape: Typical for the Paidagogos Group. On either handle, just below the strut to the rim, is a spur pointing outward. A plastic ring circles the center of the tall stem. The foot is a spreading disk with two grooves colored with added white. The body is slender and concave, with a thin, flaring rim. At the juncture of each handle with the rim, facing inward, is a female head in relief, wearing a Phrygian cap.

Attributed to the Paidagogos Group
about 335-325 B.C.
A: Dionysos is seated on his throne in three-quarter view to the right. The throne has turned legs and no back. The god’s himation has fallen about his waist, and he has his feet on a stool, suggesting a cult image. He holds his thyrsos across his lap in his left hand. There is a fillet in his long hair, which falls in ringlets on his shoulder. On the ground are a lyre and a pair of pipes, crossed. A grapevine runs above and on either side of the god. The throne, pipes, grapes, and parts of the thyrsos and stool are in added white, tinted yellow.
B: A maenad in chiton, kekryphalos, earrings, necklace, and bracelets is rushing to the right but looking back to the left. She carries a phiale in her right hand and a thyrsos in the left. On either side of her is a vertical spray of laurel.
The groundlines consist of dotted egg-pattern with yellow cores in the eggs. This ornament and the laurel on side B are standard for the Paidagogos Troup, but the gravevine is a special feature in honor of the wine-god. The Paidagogos Group vases are all kantharoi of this type and were produced in the workshop of the Darius Painter.


By date unknown: Thomas Gold Appleton Collection (according to Robinson, Catalogue, no. 515: purchased by him of Alessandro Castellani; from Canosa); gift of Thomas Gold Appleton to MFA, 1876

Credit Line

Gift of Thomas Gold Appleton