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Video transcript

we're in the antique collection in Munich and we're looking at a small drinking cup by an artist whose name is Ezekiel mange and Greece it's funny that you called it a small drinking cup because I imagine if you drank all the wine that you could put into this bowl you would be quite drunk it's true actually in terms of our wine glasses now it's pretty big the shape is a calyx you'll notice that it's quite shallow it's got a little bit of a base a little bit of a pedestal and it's got two handles that you're meant to hook your thumb around it seems to me as you drank down your wine the decoration at the bottom of the bowl would be revealed well that's right it's a little bit unusual but the bowl itself is a canvas for this cup and we have this marvelous scene that shows an ancient Greek boat occupied by the god Dionysus the god of wine when you just look at it you can see a few unusual things first of all you got all these playful dolphins that seem to be swimming around the boat we can imagine the field that would be the water and the sky it's all red there's no differentiation but I've always liked to think that the Dolphins on either side of the boat are jumping out of the water there's a sense of joyousness and this is a cup by the great Greek vas pain or ezekias who we have about 35 Vaz is from by this artist so this is a really special object he both painted and potted and he often signed his work and that's the case here if you look closely you can see another unusual element which is that there's a grapevine it's growing right beside the mast and there's all these wonderful bunches of grapes and grape leaves that almost function is a kind of arbor over the boat and the story was the Dionysus was fleeing pirates and in order to hide from them he made the grapevine grow from the boat itself and turned the pirates into the Dolphins that's right I see how ezekias is trying to fill that circular space of the kylix by making the vines grow out horizontally and the Dolphins jumping all around so he's using that whole space it's not an easy space as an artist to fill no that's right and actually there's a gentle curve to almost every element in this composition that seems to be responding to the curvature of the cup itself there's the arc of the vine there's the elegant and beautiful arc that's created by the wind field sail and you can just see it billowing pushing the boat forward and of course the arcs of the Dolphins end of the hull of the ship and then those circular forms of the grapes that mirror the circular shape of the ball I love Dionysus he's lying back as if he's at a dinner party perhaps he's speaking but there's a wonderful sense of relaxation and I like the stars on the cloak that he wears and the leaf shapes on the crown this is a deck black figure painting it's a style of painting from the archaic period the artist would paint with slipware and then would scratch into it with a kind of needle to incise the lines and create those very delicate patterns that we can see in the woodwork of the ship for example or in the grapes above Dionysus you can see in the ship there's a bit of ornamentation not only does the prow of the ship have a face carved into it but you can see a sort of Swans head by its Stern really my favorite part you had mentioned before is that if you earth uhm was hooked over the upper handle and this was filled with red wine it would obscure the boat until you raised it and began to drink and at one point at least the boat would seem as if it was floating on a sea of red wine and you might feel as relaxed as Dionysus you