In ancient Greek mythology, Athena was the goddess and protector of all the arts including painting, sculpture, and literature. A celebration of her birthday was held every year (a grand event every 4 years) which was called the Festival of Panathenaea during a month that corresponded with our July. All Greeks attended including, men, women, children, freed slaves, and non-Greeks.
Paul Cartledge tells us in his enlightening book, Ancient Greece, that this was a majestic event that encompassed feasts, music, athletic competitions, parades, performances, theater, boat races, equestrian contests, and religious ceremonies. These festivities were favorite subjects for the vase painters during the height of popularity of these vessels. Hundreds and hundreds of scenes were depicted showing all varieties of these activities. Amphorae containing oil were given as prizes for the winners of the athletic events such as the one shown on this vase.
You can see why I chose this topic for my painting. The subject matter is endless and endlessly interesting. Undoubtedly, many paintings could be created surrounding this ancient festival.