Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)

Attributed to the Tithonos Painter

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156


Hermes, the messenger god, moves swiftly across this vase on some errand for Zeus, the ruler of the gods. Dressed in traveling clothes with a chlamys (short cloak) and a petasos (broad-brimmed hat), he wears winged sandals and carries a herald's staff, a kerykeion, which terminates in entwined snakes. The same symbol was carried by Greek heralds as they traveled from city to city.

Terracotta lekythos (oil flask), Attributed to the Tithonos Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic

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