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Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Eretria Painter
Period:
Classical
Date:
ca. 420 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; red-figure, white-ground
Dimensions:
H. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm); diameter 8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1931
Accession Number:
31.11.13
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 159
Upper zone, uncertain scene: chariot surrounded by men and women
Middle zone, Achilles mourning Patroklos, and Nereids bringing Achilles' second set of armor
Lower zone, Amazonomachy (battle of Greeks against Amazons)

This lekythos is of exceptional novelty and beauty. The unusually large shape is subdivided into three zones, each with a mythological subject. The middle zone features Thetis and her sister Nereids bringing armor to replace the set that Achilles had given Patroklos. The lower zone depicts Theseus and Hippolyte in combat among Greeks and Amazons. In both cases, the subject concerns a woman in martial mode and a warrior. The uppermost scene has been interpreted as the abduction of Persephone but more likely shows a god (or goddess) departing on a mission of divine intervention. The placement of the white-ground zone between two in red-figure emphasizes the Eretria Painter's extraordinary draftsmanship. It may also indicate the funerary purpose of the vase.
Inscription: The names are inscribed.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1932. "A Lekythos by the Eretria Painter." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 27(4): pp. 103-9, figs. 1-7.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1944. Greek Painting: The Development of Pictoral Representation from Archaic to Graeco-Roman Times. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1946. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey. p. 134, fig. 103, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1947. "An Athenian Gravestone." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 5(7): pp. 182-3.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 101, 241, pl. 81d, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1958[1946]. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey, Revised Edition, 2nd edn. p. 134, fig. 103, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. pp. 1248, 1688, no. 9, Add. 1, pp. 1247-55, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

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. 1981. Aara-Aphlad, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 1. Achilleus, nos. 479, 520; Amazones, no. 242, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Wehgartner, Irma. 1983. Attisch Weissgrundige Keramik: Maltechniken, Werkstätten, Formen, Verwendung. no. 15, p. 103, 107-8, 110, pl. 39, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

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. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Euploia, no. 1; Galateia, no. 40; Eupolis I, no. 1, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Boardman, John. 1989. Athenian Red Figure Vases: The Classical Period, a Handbook. fig. 231, London: Thames and Hudson, London.

Cook, Brian. 1989. "Footwork in Ancient Greek Swordsmanship." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 24: p. 58, fig. 2.

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. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Klymene I, no. 1; Nereides, no. 331; Klymene VIII, no. 1; Mounichos, p. 651, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

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. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Psamathe, no. 3; Phaleros, no. 5, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Cohen, Beth. 2006. "Added Clay and Gilding in Athenian Vase-painting." The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, Beth Cohen, ed. pp. 111-12, 117, fig. 5, n. 27, Malibu: J. Paul Getty Trust.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 142, pp. 128-29, 433, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lezzi-Hafter, Adrienne. 2008. "Clay, Gold and Craft: Special Techniques in Three Vases by the Eretria Painter and the Apotheosis in Xenophantos." Papers on Special Techniques in Athenian Vases: proceedings of a symposium held in connection with the exhibition 'The colors of clay: special techniques in Athenian vases', at the Getty Villa, June 15-17, Dr. Kenneth Lapatin, ed. p. 185 n. 23, 30, Los Angeles, C.A.: J. Paul Getty Museum.

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