This hydria represents the unbridled culmination of a convivial event, in which the consumption of wine, music and dance end up assuming the orgiastic characteristics conventionally included in the definition of komos. The three characters appear largely nude, with the exception of a small cape; the crown with vine leaves recalls the world of Dionysius, along with the association of music and copiously poured wine. A bearded man pours the wine from an amphora into a skyphos (vessel for drinking) of significant size; here there is an evident allusion to an immoderate and solemn consumption of wine, as occurred on special occasions for the Athenians, such as the Anthesteria, but also in contexts that were not necessarily of a ritual nature.
The frontal representation of the aulete or flautist corresponds to a pattern that, beyond its original magical, demoniac or apotropaic value, assumes a particular semantic value in the canons of Greek ceramography; the subject, thus depicted, transmits intense emotions, establishing a dialogue with the observer, who becomes part of the representation.
The hydria is attributed to Euthymides, one of the masters of the group of “Pioneers” of red figure ceramics, a contemporary and friendly rival of the equally famous Euphronios.