Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Greek collection

Gnathian jug, oinochoe and skyphos

The jug, oinochoe and skyphos, vessels used to pour and drink wine, pertain to a distinctive production of Magna Graecia known as Gnathian ware, after the ancient city of Egnathia (province of Brindisi) where the first specimens were found. Invented during the first half of the 4th century BC, presumably at Tarentum in the same workshops that produced red-figure ware, it features complex figured scenes tied to theatre or the Dionysian world, in which the combined use of incision and three main colours – white, red and yellow – achieved extraordinary effects.

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As time went on, however, mass production came to prevail. The scenes were rarefied, replaced by individual figures or objects framed by grapevines and trailing ivy, ultimately leading to the extreme simplification of ornamental models, above all on numerous small- and medium-sized containers (as the ones here presented) and a reduction of the decorated area when gadrooned vases were introduced.

Provenance: Palagi and Brunelli Collections
Datation: Around the second half of the 4th century BC
Material: clay
Dimensions: height cm 10; cm 11,2; cm 22,7
Inventory #: G 515, G 573, G 434 (PU 752, 764, 715)

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Exhibition rooms | Rooms V and VI - Greek collection