Attic red-figure

Pistoxenos Painter's 'Bybax cup'

Pistoxenos Painter's 'Bybax cup'

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Photograph: The Oxford History of Classical Art, edited by J. Boardman

Museum: Taranto, Museo Nazionale
Size: fragment of the bowl of a cup; estimated diameter of 30cm.
Function: convivial
Technique: white-ground with dilute brown/golden outlines and washes of colour ( a near lavender for the animal skin pelt)
Style: early classical
Subject/s: satyr named Byb [ax] gently grasps a maenad, his hand adorned with a bracelet. Wearing fine ear rings and a fillet around her head, the maenad looks very serene, 'displaying' her thrysos entwined with a snake rather than threatening the satyr with it.
Date: early mid 5th c.
Analysis: the quite calm of the picture exemplifies the early classical style. The sensitive lines, delicate washes, prominence of colours, and the naming of the figures bring paintings on walls to mind. The cup was painted shortly after the wall painter Polygnotos of Thasos was brought to Athens.

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