Rodin bought many antiques in his life, and these are now preserved in the Rodin Museum in Paris. They are not very well known, but they include a few fine pieces well worth seeing and studying. Some seventy ancient vases are on exhibition, and do not seem ever to have been published or described, apart from stray mentions in sale catalogues.
A few years ago I became interested in the collection, and noticed a very curious red-figured cup, which I shall describe.
Pl. I. Rodin Museum inv. Tc. 980 (formerly inv. 1943). Diameter 23·2 centimetres. The present height is 9·5 centimetres, but the foot is alien: it comes from a little-master cup. The handles belong: the ends of them are rounded, not squared as in late cups.
I: two satyrs. The left-hand one totters forward in a dancing movement, carrying a large wineskin on his back. He grasps the upper end with his left hand, just above his head, to prevent it sliding down. The right arm is lowered, with the fingers of the hand raised. His tail does not show, and his left leg is almost entirely hidden behind the krater on which his companion is seated; a bit of the calf appears to the left of the base. The second satyr, who wears a wreath of ivy, is sitting on the foot of a large calyx-krater which has been turned upside down; streaks on the uneven ground represent the remains of the wine: the feast is over.