Marble calyx-krater with reliefs of maidens and dancing maenads

Period: Imperial

Date: 1st century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Marble, Pentelic

Dimensions: H. 31 3/4 in. (80.7 cm)

Classification: Stone Sculpture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1923

Accession Number: 23.184


The peristyle courtyards and gardens of the villas belonging to wealthy Romans were filled with fountains, sculpture, and monumental ornaments such as this vase. Many of these decorative works were eclectic combinations of shapes and motifs
drawn from the long, rich tradition of Greek art that had been produced some five hundred years earlier in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. The six female figures that surround this vase are copies and adaptations taken from famous classical reliefs. On one side, two modestly wrapped maidens approach a girl playing a double flute, while on the other side, three maenads, followers of Dionysos, dance in abandon to the music of wooden clappers. Gnarled trees above the handles evoke an outdoor setting.