Handmade using ancient techniques, this terracotta plate shows scenes of a symposium (drinking party). The beautiful design is created in the style of an original in the Museum's collection that dates from 490- 480 BC in Athens, Greece.
Scenes of symposia were naturally a popular subject for the painted pottery vessels that were used on such occasions. Here, a young man reclines on a couch while a girl dances before him: both of them are wreathed. The young man's outstretched arm may be marking time, and in his left hand he holds a pair of flutes, perhaps removed from the spotted skin case hanging up behind him. His couch is comfortably fitted with a large, striped cushion, and on a low table at his side, decorated with sprays of flowers, stands a skyphos, a deep drinking cup. The girl's short hair suggests she is probably a slave, dancing to entertain the party guests. She lifts the skirt of her chiton(dress) in both hands in order to avoid tripping up.
The design is beautifully arranged to fit the circular field. The couch forms a strong, horizontal line, echoed by the lines of the table and by the youth's outstretched arm and lowered left leg. Vertical accents are then provided by the figure of the girl, the knotted staff behind her, and the visible leg of the table. A whole series of diagonal lines then links the two figures and the objects in the scene.
An ornament with a story to tell, this piece of pottery is unique and timeless. The artists' signature is handwritten on the base, as shown.