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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Sabouroff Painter
ca. 450 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; white-ground
H. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm) diameter 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 159
Prothesis (laying out of the dead)

The prothesis, a central part of funerary ritual, is represented in the Metropolitan Museum's collection as early as the mid-eighth century B.C. The essential elements—the deceased laid out on a bier, surrounded by members of the household and mourners—remained unchanged over centuries. In this depiction, there is obvious interest in differentiating the mourners and exploiting the contrast between the light background and the surfaces of opaque color.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1946. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey. p. 113, fig. 82, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 88, 229, pl. 69b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1958[1946]. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey, Revised Edition, 2nd edn. p. 113, fig. 82, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 846, no. 190, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Reilly, Joan. 1989. "Many Brides: "Mistress and Maid" on Athenian Lekythoi." Hesperia, 58(4): p. 412 n. 8.

Kavvadias, Giōrgos G. 2000. Ho Zōgraphos tou Sabouroff. pl. 135, Athens: Grapheion Dēmosieumatōn Akadēmias Athēnōn.

Oakley, John H. 2004. Picturing Death in Classical Athens: The Evidence of the White Lekythoi. p. 78, pl. IIa–b, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 157, pp. 139, 435, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Latini, Alexia, Paolo Moreno, Mario Grimaldi, and Elisa Chiara Portale. 2011. "Riflessi della mortalità neonatale e materna nella pittura ellenistica." Pittura ellenistica in Italia e in Sicilia, Linguaggi e Tradizioni: Atti del Convegno di Studi (Messina, 24-25 settembre 2009), Gioacchine Francesco La Torre and Mario Torelli, eds. p. 71, fig. 33a, Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider Editore.

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