Plate, Archaic, ca. 510 b.c.; red–figure
Attributed to Paseas
Terracotta; Diam. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm)
The Bothmer Purchase Fund, and Promised Gift of Andrés A. Mata, 2010 (2010.64)
A notable example of early red-figure Attic vase painting at its best, this evocative plate depicts in its well-balanced tondo a composition of two male revelers obviously enjoying their participation in a lively symposium. The youth on the left, dressed in a himation and wearing a red wreath in his hair, plays a flute he holds in his right hand while holding another in his left. Both flutes were rendered in added red paint that is now barely discernible. The second youth, who seems slightly younger due to his lack of facial hair, wears his himation draped over both shoulders and carries a skyphos (deep drinking vessel) in his right hand as he turns appreciatively toward his musical companion.
The plate can be attributed to Paseas, an accomplished Athenian artist of the late Archaic period who worked in both the black- and red-figure techniques. Paseas has been credited with at least ten red-figure plates, all of which demonstrate a consistent and recognizable elegance of style as well as a marked refinement of the potter's technique.