Loutrophoros (ceremonial vase for water), third quarter of 4th century b.c.; red–figure
Attributed to the Metope Painter
Greek, South Italian, Apulian
Purchase, The Bernard and Audrey Aronson Charitable Trust Gift, in memory of her beloved husband, Bernard Aronson, 1995 (1995.45.2)
On the body, obverse: woman with attendant in naiskos (shrine) flanked by youths and women
Reverse: woman in naiskos flanked by youths and women
On the shoulder, obverse: head of a woman wearing a Phrygian cap within foliage Reverse: head of a woman within foliage
This loutrophoros is a slightly simpler counterpart of 1995.45.1. The naiskos has only two columns, and the lower part of the podium is covered with vine tendrils. The woman opens a casket, while her maid holds a garland of flowers. Although the function of such vases is not fully understood, it was most probably funerary. From its origins in Athens, the loutrophoros was associated with weddings and with rites for those who died unmarried. The iconographic formula of figures in a naiskos was established in sculpture on the Greek mainland, whence it reached southern Italy.