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THE TOWNLEY VASE

Period
Material
Inventory
Ag.643
ID
Hyp-6768

The enormous marble vase with relief decoration, preserved in London, is named after one of its former owners, Charles Townley. The shape of the more than one meter tall piece evokes that of the volute krater, a mixing bowl known from classical Greek culture and used for diluting wine with water. The relief that encircles the body is also tied to the sphere of Dionysos and the wine. It shows a festive procession, with Dionysos—Bacchus, as well as Ariadne and Pan identifiable at the centre. Men and maenads — members of the retinue of Dionysos — dance around the central figures.