Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Achilles Painter

Period: Classical

Date: ca. 440 B.C.

Culture: Greek, Attic

Medium: Terracotta; white-ground

Dimensions: H. 14 3/4 in. (37.39 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989

Accession Number: 1989.281.72


The Achilles Painter was one of the foremost artists in Athens during the mid-fifth century B.C. He is particularly well known for the decoration of lekythoi that contained oil and served in various rituals for the dead. In the scene depicted here, two youths flank a funerary monument embellished with bands of different types. Usually there is nothing in such representations to indicate whether the figures are alive or not. Most poignantly, the youth on the right is identified as deceased by the little soul that hovers above his head.