Authors J. Paul Getty Trust
Performing Arts in Art Information and Questions for Teaching Wine Cup with a Boy Holding a Lyre, painted by Douris, potted by Python Wine Cup with a Boy Holding a Lyre Signed by Douris, painter; attributed to Python, potter Greek, Athens, about 480 B.C. Terracotta 4 11/16 x 15 5/16 x 12 5/16 in. 86.AE.290 Background Information Scenes of the daily lives of Athenian schoolboys decorate this red-figure cup. In addition to basic literacy and mathematics, Greek boys were trained in athletics and music. On the interior of the cup, a boy holding a type of lyre called a kithara stands in front of a bearded man leaning on his walking stick. The tortoise shell used to make the resonator, or soundbox, of the kithara is clearly visible in the image. The boy appears to be attending a music lesson with his teacher. On the outside of the cup, men and boys form similar scenes. The imagined walls of the schoolroom are hung with musical instruments and athletic equipment: lyres, string bags with knucklebones (a game similar to jacks), and aryballoi (small containers for oil or perfume). Schoolroom scenes showing boys with their teachers were popular in the early fifth century until about 450 B.C. This popularity may have stemmed from the increasing number of Athenian citizen families who were investing in formal education for their sons. This cup was designed especially for ancient wine-drinking parties called symposia. At symposia, male citizens would gather for dinner, conversation, music, entertainment, and drinking. The master of ceremonies for the evening, called the symposiarch, would decide how much wine would be drunk. Ancient Greeks diluted their wine with water, a practice that they believed set them apart from “barbarians,” which was a term they used to refer to all non-Greeks. The symposiarch would determine the proportion of water to wine, and servants would mix the liquids in a vessel called a krater and pour the drink into wine cups like this. About the Artists Douris (Greek, active 500–460 B.C.) Douris worked as a vase painter in Athens in the early fifth century B.C. He also occasionally worked as a potter, which was not common in antiquity, when pottery was usually formed by one skilled tradesman and decorated by another person who specialized in painting. Douris is known from forty-one signed vases, two of which he also potted. Altogether, almost three hundred vases © 2011 J. Paul Getty Trust © 2011 J. Paul Getty Trust. This education resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Performing Arts in Art Information and Questions for Teaching Wine Cup with a Boy Holding a Lyre, painted by Douris, potted by Python have been attributed to him. Douris primarily decorated red-figure cups, but he also painted a few vessels of other forms and in other techniques, including white-ground containers. He depicted scenes of both mythology and everyday life. He worked with a number of potters but seems to have had a regular collaboration with Python. Douris was so influential in his day that another painter, Onesimos, depicted a cup signed by Douris on one of his vases, and there is even an ancient forgery of Douris’s signature. Python (Greek, active 500–480 B.C.) The potter Python, who formed the wine cup out of clay, had a long association with Douris, who painted decorations on it. Although it was common practice for one person to form the shape of a piece of pottery and another to paint it, the continued collaboration of Douris and Python was unusual. In addition to working with Douris, Python potted cups for Epiktetos and the Triptolemos painter. Python worked in Athens in the early 400s B.C. A specialist in cups, he is known from his signature on three vases. Distinctive aspects of Python’s potting style include the form and size of the foot of his cups and the shape and angle of the handles. Many of his cups are small in size. © 2011 J. Paul Getty Trust 2 © 2011 J. Paul Getty Trust. This education resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Performing Arts Performing in Art Arts in Art Information and Information Questionsand for Questions Teaching for Teaching Wine Cup with Initial R: The a Boy Holding Resurrection, Antonio a Lyre, painted da Monza by Douris, potted by Python Questions for Questions Teaching for Teaching Take the time toTake lookthe closely time at to the lookwork of art. closely What at the do of work you notice art. Whatabout thedoobject? details you notice? What do you notice Whatabout colorsthe dopeople depicted you see? (blue, in the red, gold, center of theetc.) brown, work of art? What objects are theykinds What depicted with? of lines do (The man (curvy, you see? is leaning on a walking straight, stick; diagonal, the boy etc.) horizontal, is holding a lyre.) What kinds of shapes do you see? (circles, rectangles, squares, diamonds, ovals, geometric, Based on the gestures, organic, size, etc.) and physical appearance of the people, as well as the objects depicted with them, what do you think is the relationship between the two individuals? (The figures could be a student What learning to play lines and the are shapes kithara with his(circles, repeated? teacher,squares, or a young musician organic withcurvy shapes, a parental lines, horizontal figure.) lines, etc.) Painters using the What red-figure technique details do hadinathe you notice much greater page’s freedom borders? of expression What other detailsthan those do you using see? (curvy blue the earlier black-figure technique, leaves, circles whichpeople, containing relied on incised with serpents rather than painted colorful lines.with tails, angels Canwings you shaped like describe the ways different triangles, types of lines were used to create details on the wine cup. (long, etc.) straight, and wavy lines to depict the folds of fabric; curvy lines to denote muscles; short, thin lines for eyebrows, toes, Whatmouths; cross-hatched words would you use tolines on thethis describe cushion work of of the art?stool; repeated (fancy, spiral lines pretty, detailed, in etc.) the circular pattern) This page comes from a book that contains chants sung by a choir in medieval times. What View a reproduction of the or similarities wine cup fromdo differences another angle. you notice Look closely between at the form the medieval wayofofthe object. writing music and the modern Does it remind you day of anything way? (Both in youra home? have staff, but the modern-day staff has five lines; the medieval staff has four. Medieval notes are square; modern-day notes have ovals and stems.) What does the form of the object reveal about how the object may have been used? (The bowl shape of the interior could hold Only monks andliquids, canonsand the have would handles hadwould accesshave enabled to this book,someone and only to easily people wealthy hold were able to and lift the object.) read and write during medieval times. How would you feel if you were not allowed access to the manuscript page or could not learn how to read or write unless you were wealthy? Why do you think an object used at a drinking party would be painted with a scene of a music teacher and student? (Music was an important part of daily life and formal education in ancient Greece.) What special cups or plates do you or your families like to use at parties? © 2011 J. Paul Getty © Trust 2011 J. Paul Getty Trust 3 3 © 2011 J. Paul Getty Trust. This education resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.