Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to an artist near the Villa Giulia Painter
ca. 460 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; white-ground
H. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 157
Libation at warrior's departure

From the end of the sixth century B.C., the lekythos served as a funerary vase to contain offerings of oil for the dead. During the second quarter of the fifth century, white-ground lekythoi, on which the decoration was painted over a white slip, became the typical funerary vase. While the subject here is the libation at the departure of a warrior, the shape suggests that the warrior did not return alive and that this vase was placed on his grave.
Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 626, no. 2, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Kurtz, Donna C. 1975. Athenian White Lekythoi: Patterns and Painters. pl. 27, 4, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Oakley, John H. 2004. Picturing Death in Classical Athens: The Evidence of the White Lekythoi. p. 58, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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