Hixenbaugh Ancient Art is pleased to announce its latest gallery exhibition, “Symposium.”  The Symposium was the quintessential drinking party in ancient Greece.  The show explores ancient wine and revelry including vessels used in the Symposium, musical instruments and images of the god Dionysus and his followers.

The ancient Greeks mastered the art of winemaking and spread the joys of its consumption all across the ancient Mediterranean and Europe.  The Symposium was a vital social institution in Ancient Greece.  Greek men gathered together in celebration.  They engaged in debate, recited poetry, played games, sang, and played instruments.  Entertainers performed, consorted and conversed with the symposiasts.  Wine was the key ingredient in the revelry.  Wine was carried into the Symposium in an amphora.  The symposiarch mixed the wine with water poured from a hydria into a krater.  The wine was consumed in a variety of vessels including the kylix, skyphos, kantharos and rhyton.  The vessels used in the wine service were elaborately decorated with scenes from myth and daily life. 

Dionysus (Latin: Bacchus) was the god of the grape harvest, viticulture, wine and revelry.   As such, he was a frequent subject in the repertoire of Athenian vase painters.  Initially portrayed as a mature bearded man, his depiction evolved into that of a more sexualized youthful male over time.  Originally, Dionysus was associated with the cycle of wine production from cultivation of grapevines to the fermentation of the wine.  As the popularity of his cult grew, it incorporated a more libertine sensibility.  Followers of the cult of Dionysus engaged in rituals meant to temporarily liberate one from the constraints and mores of society.  Depictions of his male and female companions (satyrs and maenads) cavorting, dancing and engaging in sexual activity demonstrated the lascivious component of the Dionysian cult. 

A wide variety of ancient wine vessels including Athenian pottery, Etruscan bronze, and Roman glassware are on exhibit.  Among the many wine vessels in the exhibition are a fine Attic red-figure kylix by the Tarquinia Painter.  In the center of the kylix, Dionysus reclines on a wine skin while imbibing.  On the exterior of the vase, six nude athletes train for the Olympic long jump.  An Etruscan inscription on the vase names its ancient owner, “Fikhines”.  The exhibition also includes a rare mosaic depicting Dionysus with a garland of grape clusters in his hair.  The mosaic is unusual in that it is signed by the ancient artist, Erenios of Apamea.  

Symposium show 

Symposium show 


Past Exhibitions

new book:

A Complete Guide and Catalog

From 03/21/2019 to 04/27/2019


The photography of Joseph Coscia Jr.

And accompanying ancient glass through December 7

From 10/25/2018 to 11/25/2018


From 05/10/2018 to 05/31/2018

REALM OF OSIRIS: Art of the Egyptian Mummy

Through November 18

From 10/26/2017 to 11/18/2017


through October 14

From 09/21/2017 to 10/14/2017

The GODDESS exhibition features sculpture of of the divine female form in antiquity.

The photography of Joseph Coscia

From 05/19/2017 to 06/30/2017


on view through February 25

From 01/19/2017 to 02/25/2017

Light on Stone:

the photography of Joseph Coscia

From 10/20/2016 to 12/24/2016

Paintings of John Woodrow Kelley

Through October 15

From 09/15/2016 to 10/15/2016


From 06/09/2016 to 07/30/2016


From 04/07/2016 to 05/28/2016


December through February 2016

From 12/10/2015 to 02/13/2016

Art of Ancient America

From 10/29/2015 to 12/05/2015

On view in our Chelsea gallery from October 29 through December 5

PAX ROMANA: Roman art exhibition

From 09/17/2015 to 10/24/2015

On view exclusively at our Chelsea gallery from September 17 to October 24


From 06/04/2015 to 08/01/2015

On view exclusively at our Chelsea gallery from June 4 to August 1

the face of antiquity

From 02/01/2015 to 04/11/2015

Our inaugural show in our newly opened Chelsea gallery, on view now through April 11th, explores the widely varied depictions of the human face in ancient art.

Neo-Assyrian Arms and Armor on Display

From 11/15/2011 to 12/31/2011


From 06/01/2008 to 06/30/2008

Our current exhibition includes a number of rare and unusual examples of ancient arms and armor including, Greek bronze helmets and horse armor, Roman legionary bricks, Celtic swords and spears, as well as a number of ancient projectile points.

FEMINA: Women of Antiquity

From 03/27/2008 to 04/30/2008

A special exhibition examining the iconography of women in ancient art


Hixenbaugh Ancient Art LTD, 235 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022

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