Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Achilles Painter
ca. 440 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; white-ground
H. 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 159
Seated youth and woman

Seated on a stool, the young man hands what appears to be a piece of fruit to the woman standing before him. An oinochoe (jug), a mirror, and a sakkos (snood) are suspended in the background. It is impossible to determine whether this is a vignette of daily life, as depicted by Douris, the Villa Giulia Painter, and many other artists of the mid and later fifth century B.C. It may instead be a funerary representation as depicted on grave stelai; the youth would be the deceased.
Metzger, Henri. 1951. Les représentations dans la céramique attique du IVe siècle. no. 28, pp. 23, 25, 30, Paris: E. de Boccard.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 99, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 1001, no. 209, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Wehgartner, Irma. 1983. Attisch Weissgrundige Keramik: Maltechniken, Werkstätten, Formen, Verwendung. pp. 190, n. 26, 221-2, n. 30, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Oakley, John H. 1997. The Achilles Painter. pls. 3a, 150, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Oakley, John H. 2004. Picturing Death in Classical Athens: The Evidence of the White Lekythoi. p. 60, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, Beth. 2006. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases no. 65, pp. 228-29, Malibu: J. Paul Getty Trust.

Mertens, Joan R. 2010. How to Read Greek Vases. no. 28, pp. 23, 25, 30, 103, 112, 140-44, 168, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.