An egg-shaped wine vase from Cyprus

13 April 2020

These “oenochoé” wine vases are typical of the Cypriot art of the early Iron Age, corresponding to the Greek archaic period. Their painted decoration represents animals, especially birds, whose multiple variations show the inventiveness of the island’s decorators. Figures holding spears, axes, etc. also appear on this type of vase.
An oriental and especially Cretan influence is evident in this period of Cypriot art.
Such “oenochoes” were found on the Mediterranean coast, where they probably contained the wine of Cyprus, which was highly appreciated and exported faraway.

Cyprus, Greek civilization. 680-630 B.C. Bichromatic Free Field Type IV. Beige clay. H. 28.5.
Formerly Josef Mueller collection, acquired before 1942. INV. 202-112.
Photo Studio Ferrazzini Bouchet. Musée Barbier-Mueller.

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