Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Sappho Painter
Period:
Archaic
Date:
ca. 500 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; black-figure, white-ground
Dimensions:
H. 6 13/16 in. (17.3 cm); diameter 2 13/16 in. (7.2 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1941
Accession Number:
41.162.29
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154
Helios (the Sun) rises in his quadriga (4-horse chariot); above, Nyx (Night) driving away to the left and Eos (the goddess of dawn) to the right; Herakles offering sacrifice at altar.

The four lekythoi grouped here are all attributed to the same painter and are said to have been found together in a tomb in Attica. Three of them are decorated with subjects that may have seemed especially suitable for funerary offerings because they show figures moving beyond the confines of the known world. This vase shows a scene that must be related to Herakles' journey to the west, outside the ring of ocean that encircled the earth. Traveling in the bowl of the sun, he reached an otherworldly place where he had to kill the monster Geryon, a creature similar to Hades, the god of the underworld. Here Herakles offers a sacrifice to Helios as the sun rises.
Said to be from Attica

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1942. "The Gallatin Collection of Greek Vases." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 37(3): pp. 57, 59, fig. 7.

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. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 74, 217, pl. 57c, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1978[1956]. Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters. pp. 507, 702, no. 6, Add. 1, p. 507, New York: Hacker Art Books.

Pinney, Gloria Ferrari and Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway. 1979. Aspects of Ancient Greece no. 30, pp. 66-67, Allentown, Penn.: Allentown Art Museum.

Yalouris, Nikolaos. 1980. "Astral Representations in the Archaic and Classical Periods and Their Connection to Literary Sources." American Journal of Archaeology, 84(3): p. 317 n. 45.

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. 1984. Aphrodisias-Athena, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 2. Astra, no. 3, 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. 1986. Atherion-Eros, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 3. Eos, no. 1, 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. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Helios, no. 105; Herakles, nos. 1341, 2547, 2623, 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. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Kerberos, no. 6, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Lissarrague, Francois. 1999. Vases Grecs: Les Athéniens et Leurs Images. p. 168, figs. 128-9, Paris: Hazan.

Gebauer, Jörg. 2002. Pompe und Thysia: Attische Tieropferdarstellungen auf schwarz- und rotfigurigen Vasen. cat. B 9, pp. 364-6, 435, 493, 496, 519, 547, fig. 234, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.

Ehrhardt, Wolfgang. 2004. "Zu Darstellung und Deutung des Gestirngotterpaares am Parthenon." Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 119: p. 26-7, fig. 14.

Cohen, Beth. 2006. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases no. 55, pp. 206-8, Malibu: J. Paul Getty Trust.

Maass, Michael. 2007. Maler und Dichter, Mythos, Fest und Alltag : griechische Vasenbilder aus der Sammlung des Badischen Landesmuseums Karlsruhe. p. 67, Karlsruhe: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe.

Mertens, Joan R. 2010. How to Read Greek Vases. no. 19, pp. 16, 24, 100-3, 112, 140, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Calder, Louise. 2011. Cruelty and Sentimentality: Greek Attitudes to Animals, 600-300 BC. no. 309, pp. 103, 199, Oxford: Archaeopress.

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