Terracotta loutrophoros (ceremonial vase for water)
Attributed to the Metope Painter
3rd quarter of the 4th century B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Apulian
32 3/4 in. (83.2 cm)
Purchase, The Bernard and Audrey Aronson Charitable Trust Gift, in memory of her beloved husband, Bernard Aronson, 1995
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 160
On the body, obverse, woman with attendant in naiskos (shrine) flanked by youths and women Reverse, woman in naiskos flanked by youths and women On the shoulder, obverse, head of a woman wearing a Phrygian cap within foliage Reverse, head of a woman within foliage
This loutrophoros is a slightly simpler counterpart of the adjacent example. The naiskos has only two columns, and the lower part of the podium is covered with vine tendrils. The woman opens a casket, while her maid holds a garland of flowers. Although the function of such vases is not fully understood, it was most probably funerary. From its origins in Athens, the loutrophoros was associated with weddings and with rites for those who died unmarried. The iconographical formula of figures in a naiskos was established in sculpture on the Greek mainland, whence it reached Southern Italy.
Trendall, Arthur Dale and Alexander Cambitoglou. 1983. First Supplement to the Red-Figured Vases of Apulia. pp. 70-2, pl. 9, London: Institute Of Classical Studies.
Trendall, Arthur Dale. 1989. Red Figure Vases of South Italy and Sicily. p. 85, fig. 181, New York: Thames and Hudson Inc.
Sotheby's, New York. 1994. Important Classical, Egyptian, and Western Asiatic Antiquities and Islamic Works of Art. December 14, 1994. lots 94, 97.
Mertens, Joan R., Dr. 1995. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1994-1995." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 53(2): p. 12.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1995. "One Hundred Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1994 through June 30, 1995." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 125: p. 16.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 169, pp. 150, 436-37, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.