Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Lekythos (oil flask) depicting Poseidon pursuing Amymone, ca. 440 b.c.; Red–figure
    Attributed to the Phiale Painter
    Greek, Attic
    Terracotta; H. 17 7/16 in. (44.30 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1917 (17.230.35)

    Across the body of this red-figure lekythos, Poseidon, the god of the sea, pursues Amymone, one of the fifty daughters of Danaus, the legendary king of Argos. According to Greek myth, Danaus, during his flight to Greece from Egypt, sent Amymone ahead in search of water. It was in the Argolid that Poseidon seduced the fair maiden and created in her honor a spring at Lerna.

    Amymone's costume shows the neatly fluted patterning of swallowtail folds—symmetrical folds falling on the bias of a garment and terminating in sharp, sometimes pointed edges. As a design element, the swallowtail fold relies on the intrinsic qualities of cloth, and is free of any technical complication other than the simple release of fabric.

    This work of art also appears on Connections: Olympians , The Column

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    On view: Gallery 156
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  • Lekythos (oil flask) depicting Poseidon pursuing Amymone, ca. 440 B.C.; Red-figure
    Attributed to the Phiale Painter
    Greek, Attic
    Terracotta; H. 17 7/16 in. (44.30 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1917 (17.230.35)

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