Kantharos, Etruscan pottery

late sec. 7th – beginning 6th century BC, bucchero


Among the various types of drinking cups, the “kantharos” is distinguished by its slender shape characterized by large, soaring handles that give the cup a very elegant appearance. Intended for the symposium, it was used expressly for the consumption of wine; in fact, in the Greek world it is frequently depicted held in the hand of Dionysus. Bucchero is one of the most characteristic productions of Etruscan ceramics. The black or dark grey colour of the pottery, both on the surface and in the fracture, is due to firing in a strongly reducing environment, that is poor in oxygen.

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