Upper zone, uncertain scene: chariot surrounded by men and women Middle zone, Achilles mourning Patroklos, and Nereids bringing Achilles' second set of armor Lower zone, Amazonomachy (battle of Greeks against Amazons)
This lekythos is of exceptional novelty and beauty. The unusually large shape is subdivided into three zones, each with a mythological subject. The middle zone features Thetis and her sister Nereids bringing armor to replace the set that Achilles had given Patroklos. The lower zone depicts Theseus and Hippolyte in combat among Greeks and Amazons. In both cases, the subject concerns a woman in martial mode and a warrior. The uppermost scene has been interpreted as the abduction of Persephone but more likely shows a god (or goddess) departing on a mission of divine intervention. The placement of the white-ground zone between two in red-figure emphasizes the Eretria Painter's extraordinary draftsmanship. It may also indicate the funerary purpose of the vase.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Terracotta lekythos (oil flask)
Artist:Attributed to the Eretria Painter
Date:ca. 420 BCE
Medium:Terracotta; red-figure, white-ground
Dimensions:H. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm); diameter 8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1931
Inscription: The names are inscribed.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1932. "A Lekythos by the Eretria Painter." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 27(4): pp. 103–9, figs. 1–7.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. and Lindsley F. Hall. 1936. Red-Figured Athenian Vases in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 139, pp. 173–78, pls. 143, 144, 176, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1944, 1949. Greek Painting: The Development of Pictoral Representation from Archaic to Graeco-Roman Times. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1946. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey. p. 134, fig. 103, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1947. "An Athenian Gravestone." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5(7): pp. 182–3.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 101, 241, pl. 81d, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1957. Amazons in Greek Art. no. 15, pp. 162, 209, pl. 77, 1, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1958. Attic Red-Figured Vases: A Survey, Revised Edition, 2nd edn. p. 134, fig. 103, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Beazley, John D. 1963. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. pp. 1248, 1688, no. 9, Add. 1, pp. 1247–55, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Beazley, John D. 1971. Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters and to Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters [2nd edition]. p. 469, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1981. Vol. 1: Aara-Aphlad. "Achilleus," p. 117, no. 479; p. 124, no. 520; "Amazones," p. 602, no. 242; pls. 107, 471, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
Wehgartner, Irma. 1983. Attisch Weissgrundige Keramik: Maltechniken, Werkstätten, Formen, Verwendung. no. 15, p. 103, 107–8, 110, pl. 39, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1988. Vol. 4: Eros-Herakles. "Euploia," p. 75, no. 1, pl. 31; "Eupolis I," p. 75, no. 1, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
Boardman, John. 1989. Athenian Red Figure Vases: The Classical Period, a Handbook. fig. 231, London: Thames and Hudson.
Cook, Brian. 1989. "Footwork in Ancient Greek Swordsmanship." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 24: p. 58, fig. 2.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1992. Vol. 6: Kentauroi-Oiax. "Klymene I," pp. 68–69, no. 1; "Nereides," p. 809, no. 331, pl. 494; "Klymene VIII," p. 71, no. 1, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). 1994. Vol. 7: Oidipous-Theseus. "Psamathe," p. 568, no. 3, pl. 434; "Phaleros," p. 361, no. 5, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
Cohen, Beth. 2006. "Added Clay and Gilding in Athenian Vase-painting." The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, Beth Cohen, ed. pp. 111–12, 117, fig. 5, n. 27, Malibu: J. Paul Getty Trust.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 142, pp. 128–29, 433, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lezzi-Hafter, Adrienne. 2008. "Clay, Gold and Craft: Special Techniques in Three Vases by the Eretria Painter and the Apotheosis in Xenophantos." Papers on Special Techniques in Athenian Vases: proceedings of a symposium held in connection with the exhibition 'The colors of clay: special techniques in Athenian vases', at the Getty Villa, June 15-17, Kenneth Lapatin, ed. p. 185 n. 23, 30, Los Angeles, C.A.: J. Paul Getty Museum.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.
The Museum's collection of Greek and Roman art comprises more than 30,000 works ranging in date from the Neolithic period to the time of the Roman emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity in A.D. 312.