Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Inscription Painter
ca. 460 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; white-ground
H.: 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Woman and warrior at a tomb

Having come apart at the shoulder, this lekythos was left disassembled in order to show the interior. Attic funerary lekythoi typically have a small bulb inside the body at the end of the neck. The purpose was to economize in the amount of oil offered to the dead. The shape of the bulb tends to vary by workshop.
The vase is also significant iconographically. The woman holds a helmet, presumably that of the deceased. On the far side of the monument stands an armed warrior—a mourner or an image of the fallen soldier? Of further note is the drinking cup and the phialai (libation bowls) that are suspended on the tombstone and in the background.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 88, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 749, no. 11, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Cohen, Beth. 1991. "Perikles' Portrait and the Riace Bronzes: New Evidence for "Schinocephaly." Hesperia, 60(4): p. 491, pl. 124a.

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