Attributed To The Hephalstos Painter
Title Red-Figure Mixing Bowl (Column-Krater) with Symposium Scene and Gymnasium Scene
Date 450–430 BCE
Medium Terracotta and added color
Dimensions Overall: 15 × 13 13/16 × 11 3/4 in. (38.1 × 35.1 × 29.8 cm)
Credit Line Museum purchase with funds from Dietrich von Bothmer and the Thomas T. Solley Endowed Fund for the Curator of Ancient Art, 2005, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2005.1
About this Work
A scene typical of the Greek symposium is depicted on one side of this column krater. A "symposium" in Greek society referred to a party—it had the potential to be an intellectual affair (as in our modern academic use) or a fun-loving and possibly raucous gathering. Two young men recline on their couches, with the figure on the left holding his cup and the one on the right, his lyre. Between the pair, a young servant girl plays the double-flute (aulos).
The other side of the mixing bowl depicts a gymnasium scene. Gymnasia were used as fitness and sports centers in ancient Greece, just as they are today. They were also important public gathering spaces for men in Greek society. The young men depicted here are shown talking rather than actively participating in athletics. However, they hold objects related to sports: balls and a strigil.
Since Greek wine was too harsh to drink on its own, undiluted wine was considered uncivilized to drink—and vessels of this type were used to mix wine with water. Proportions were determined by the host.