Miniature terracotta squat lekythos (oil flask) with siren
Attributed to the Seireniske Painter
mid-5th century B.C.
H. 3 5/16 in. (8.5 cm.)
Rogers Fund, 1941
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
In Greek mythology, sirens, human-headed birds known for their beautiful voices, were offen associated with the afterlife, and they appear frequently in Classical Greek funerary art. In addition to their mournful depictions on grave stelai, sirens were also an appropriate decoration for a lekythos, a type of vase often connected with death and burial ritual.
Chase, George H. and Mary Z. Pease. 1942. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, United States of America: Fogg Museum and Gallatin Collections, Fasc. 8.. pl. 60, 2, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Beazley, John D. 1963. Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. pp. 487, 704, nos. 56, 68, Oxford: Clarendon Press.