Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Brygos Painter
ca. 480–470 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; red-figure
H. 13 3/8 in. (34 cm); diameter of body 4 3/16 in. (10.6 cm); diameter of foot 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm); diameter of mouth 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Cesnola Collection, by exchange, 1925
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
Athena holding spear and aphlaston (a symbol of naval victory)

Athena holds the curved stern of a trireme (warship) with a decorative attachment at the end. Following a rich strike of silver in Attica, the Athenian commander Themistokles persuaded the assembly to use the financial windfall to build a navy. By 480 B.C., Athens was able to provide the largest contingent of ships when the Greeks faced and defeated the Persians in a naval battle at Salamis. The Athenian navy came to dominate the eastern Mediterranean, and this vase may commemorate a victory at sea.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. "Recent Accessions in the Classical Department: Vases and Bronzes." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 22 (1): pp. 18-9, fig. 4.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1946. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey. pp. 63, 80, figs. 23, 60, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 73, 214, pl. 54g, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1958[1946]. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey, Revised Edition, 2nd edn. pp. 63, 80, figs. 23, 60, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 384, no. 211, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Beazley, John D. 1971. Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters and to Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters [2nd edition]. p. 366, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 55, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1984. Aphrodisias-Athena, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 2. Athena, no. 598, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Morris, Sarah P. 1992. Daidalos and The Origins of Greek Art. p. 290, fig. 42, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Miller, Margaret C. 1997. Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century B.C.: A Study in Cultural Receptivity. p. 33 n. 20, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Tzachou-Alexandroi, Olga E. 2001. "Le Stamnos d'Athènes n° 5898 du Peintre de Brygos." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 125(1): p. 104 n. 60.

Neer, Richard T. 2002. Style and Politics in Athenian Vase Painting: The Craft of Democracy ca. 530-460 B.C.E.. p. 164, fig. 78, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Panvini, Rosalba and Filippo Giudice. 2003. Ta Attika: Veder Greco a Gela Ceramiche Attiche Figurate dall' Antica Colonia no. G55, p. 315, Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider.

Kaltsas, Nikolaos and H. Alan Shapiro. 2008. Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens no. 7, p. 48, New York: The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), Inc.

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