THE ART OF DRINKING WINE.  The importance of drinking in the past

On Wednesday November 6 at Eataly Rome, the archeologists Richard Hodges and Valentino Nizzo engaged in  a spirited and lively conversation about the Etruscan culture of wine drinking.  The conversation was followed by a glass of wine, combining the excellence of the Made in Italy brand of past and present with support for Italy’s artistic heritage.  The funds raised contribute to the restoration of a kylix, an ancient Etruscan wine vessel, attributed to the Euaion Painter (dated to 460/450 BCE) – for display at Rome’s Museo Nazionale Etrusco Villa Giulia

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An elegant cup often used in banquets and symposiums to offer wine to guests, this kylix (460-450 BCE) has decoration that matches its use with depictions of diners reclining on embroidered cushions, drinking wine, engaged in conversation and listening to music.

The scene shows a symposium, a moment of conviviality that followed the banquet, that was important for interpersonal relationships and social links.  The guests drank wine diluted with water and engaged in pleasant and spirited conversations, entertained with music, poetry, dance, games and shows. The Etruscans had enthusiastically adopted the “Greek” tradition of symposiums and banquets.  Unlike the Greeks, however, women were included among the guests, drinking wine and engaging in conversation.

The decoration is attributed to the Euaion Painter, one of the principal producers of cups in Athens during the classical period and pupil of the more famous Duride.  The Euaion Painter takes his name from an inscription on a cup (now in the Louvre) where he celebrated the beauty of young Euaion.

This piece comes from an Etruscan tomb in Vulci (Necropolis dell’Osteria, Tomb LVI), discovered in 1931 by the archaeologist Raniero Mengarelli.

>> photo_ @Paolo Marinelli