Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Gnathian Skyphos

gnathian cup

Italy, ca. 310-300 BCE, Middle Gnathia style (attributed to the Knudsen Group)

(HFMA# 2003.060, gift of Elke and Richard Brockway)

This Corinthian-type skyphos is a particularly nice and well-preserved example of a typical drinking cup from Southern Italy in the highly decorative Gnathian style. Decorated with geometric and floral motifs on a black background, this style is characteristic for vases that were produced around the area of Gnathia (today Egnazia) in Apulia, Southern Italy, during the late fourth to the early third century. The decoration on the front side includes a highly stylized vine pattern consisting of grapes, leaves, and tendrils. The back side features a simple band of ivy. The shape is suitable for the symposium or drinking party, and the motifs are not only reminiscent of Dionysos, but also the way that garlands were actually suspended at the symposium.