Apulian Red Figure Oinochoe: Musician and Dancer
An ancient Apulian red-figure trefoil oinochoe depicting two entertainers from the Anthesteria festival with feathers in their hair, one nude playing the auletes double flute, the other in a tunic, dancing before a small vine; an alert dog follow behind. Painted in the applied red "Six's Technique."
Apulia, Magna Graecia, Southern Italy.
The vase depicts a scene from the Anthesteria. The festival took place over three days, from the 11th-13th of the month of Anthesterion (late February to early March), with each day being given a special name. This festival of Spring celebrated two seemingly disparate things: wine and the dead in the dieties of Dionysos and Hermes Chthonios (Hermes of the Underworld). Like modern Carnival, it was a time of music, revelry and intoxication when social mores were relaxed or inverted all together. As such women, children, foreigners and slaves participated in this festival.
Formerly in a New York private collection, acquired in Basel, Switzerland in the 1980's.