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Greek Skyphos - FF.23
Origin: Mediteranean
Circa: 400 BC to 300 BC
Dimensions: 6" (15.2cm) high
Collection: Red Figure Ware
Style: Skyphos
Condition: Extra Fine

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On this lively Skyphos, we can see Demeter being pursued by a Saytr. Demeter’s movement is clearly delineated by the exquisite rippling of her Pelops; the curvature of her leg exposed by the play of wind against her garb. Across her torso, a delicate and intricate play of lines reveals the curves of her body and the creases of her dress. On the other side of the Skyphos, the Saytr- tail flowing, arms entreating, pursues the Goddess of Grain. His large proboscis, pointed ears, and thick eyebrows lend an air of boisterousness to the beast. The celebratory and sexual nature of this piece lends an aura of mystique to its function in Greek life. Perhaps it was a processional piece in the Eleusinian mysteries, the arcane festivals dedicated to Demeter and the harvest. It may’ve contained the sacred barley-based alcohol that was beer’s earliest ancestor or perhaps the wine that was sprinkled over the pure white bulls sacrificed in Demeter’s name. Regardless of its original nature, this Skyphos is undoubtedly a testament to Athenian originality, artistic splendor, and the universal nature of man’s pursuit. It is a piece to be appreciated and shared for its beauty, its imaginative nature, and the state of festivity into which it inspires us. - (FF.23)

 

 

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