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Black-Figure Lekythos

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: Greek,
: 510 - 500 B.C.
: Ceramic
: Height: 29 cm (11.4 in)

Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Rollin and Feuardent, Antiquities, Terracotta and painted Greek vases from the collection of M. Camille Lécuyer, May 5th-6th, 1905, no. 242.


Complete; the body has a few chips; surface covered with deposits; the mouth is reassembled from fragments.


This lekythos is a tall vessel with a single handle attached to the broad shoulder terminating in a narrow neck and a rather large, semi-spherical mouth covered in black. The lower part of the body and a circular foot are also painted in black. The neck received a delicate decoration of tendrils of ivy with typical heard-shape leaves and stylized berries; it is separated from the shoulder by a band of tongues. The shoulder has a chain of seven, prominently painted palmettes.

The main decoration is on the tall cylindrical body occupying the frontal and side parts and leaving the back free of painting. The scene presents five figures; the veiled and bearded person wearing an ample himation is in the center of the composition; he raises his arm in the attitude of farewell towards a warrior, a hoplite in full armor; the scene belongs to the wide group of depictions of the warrior’s arming and leaving home on the Athenian vases. Behind the warrior there is a figure of an attendant, a beardless youth holding a spear and draped in a long himation as well. The symmetrical composition is reflected in the left side group showing the second hoplite facing another attendant with a spear.

The incision lines mark the details of anatomy and folds, while added colors, purple and probably white, now invisible because of the surface deposits, were used to accentuate the headbands, edges of the himations, greaves and crests.


BEAZLEY J. D., Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters, New York, 1978 pp. 463-464, 699.

BOARDMAN J., Athenian Black Figure Vases, New York, 1993, pp. 114-115, fig. 237.

RICHTER G. M. A., Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases, New York, 1935.

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