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Rare Greek Paestan Skyphos with Erotic Dancing Actor

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Directory: Hidden: Viewable: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1250345
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This rare piece is a superb Greek Paestan skyphos that dates circa mid 4th century B.C., and is attributed to the Sydney Painter. This piece is approximately 5.4 inches high by 8.8 inches wide from handle to handle. This attractive piece has a deep black glaze with vibrant light red/orange painted details, and in addition, there are deep incised line details seen within the painted images. This intact piece has a deep black glossy glaze, no repair/restoration, and no over paint. This piece shows a nude dancing man moving to his left and looking back to his right. This erotic dancer is seen with his right arm raised, and he is seen holding a tambourine in his left hand and cloak over his left arm. This dancing nude man also has an added actors prop, which is a belly attachment that enlarges his stomach and extends his genitals. The individual portrayed here is an actor in a comedy play known as a "phlyax", and the type of vessel seen here is often referred to as a "Phlyax-type" vase, named after the type of local farce (phlyax) depicted upon them. These Middle Comody plays consisted of parodies of well-known myths or comic representations of scenes from everyday life. The phylax vases reveal a vein of rustic humor and a sense of the ridiculous, which is a refreshing type of vase which breaks the general monotony of "Myth-type" vases. The back side depicts a standing draped individual with a staff held in the right hand, and this individual stands in stark contrast to the moving nude individual seen on the opposite side of this vessel. Both individuals are framed by elaborate floral decoration which "frames" each individual like a picture, and this an artistic hallmark of Greek Paestan ceramics. The bottom of this appealing vessel also has a dotted pattern, a deep black glaze seen within the inside surface, and a egg-and-dotted pattern seen at the upper rim. This piece was also used as a wine drinking vessel, as it is a skyphos, and the erotic comic scene portrayed on this vessel is very appropriate for a piece of this type. This rare piece is also attributed to the Sydney Painter, circa 350 B.C., who was thought by A.D. Trendall to be "active at least for a time at Paestum." (See A.D. Trendall, "The Red-Figured vases of Paestum", British School at Rome, 1987, p.380.) Trendall also identified several features seen in the vessel offered here such as: 1. The use of incision for details; the incised lines cut through the added red to reveal the black underneath. 2. The eye is shown at an acute angle. 3. The hair is shown as a solid black mass. (See page 380 as noted above.) Another analogous example from the Sydney Painter is seen in Trendall, pl. 238, no.f. (See attached photo. The Trendall example is seen in Vienna, no. 131, and is a skyphos that is nearly identical in size to the piece offered here. The treatment of the eye and the floral elements is nearly identical as well.) Ex: Private German collection. Note: This piece has additional documentation that is available to the purchaser. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: