The Methyse Painter was one of the earliest red-figure painters of the classical period. The scenes on this volute krater, a vessel for mixing wine with water, illustrate the transition from the robust, animated figures of the late Archaic style to the quiet, inactive subjects of the classical style.
On the front is a lively procession, with the wine god Dionysus amid his entourage of cavorting satyrs and maenads, or female devotees. Of particular interest is the child-satyr who, in an apparently unique representation, rides on the shoulders of one of the maenads. The Dionysiac theme is continued on the reverse, where two satyrs accost a maenad.