Laconian Greek Terracotta Aryballos Attributed to the Rider Painter

Greek · Laconian, ca. 570 – 560 B.C.




H: 6.3 cm (2.5 in)





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The ample-bodied oil flask has a ring foot at the base and a pronounced rim at the top. The rim’s angled profile is divided from the rest by a narrow and short neck, connected to the shoulder by a broad handle. Decorative bands with lines, tongues, and dots frame the main frieze, occupied by a central interlaced lotus-palmette complex and flanked by a heraldic composition of two sphinxes on either side. These standing beasts are large; their long bodies allow the artist to spread their impressive wingspans with distinctly incised feathers, filling the entire height of the flask.


Art market, prior to 1998;

The Gilbert Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts, acquired in London, 24 February 1998.


PADGETT J.M., et al., The Centaur’s Smile: The Human Animal in Early Greek Art, Princeton, 2003, pp. 270-271, no. 66;

The Gilbert Collection: by Phoenix Ancient Art, New York, 2019, no. 165


Princeton University Art Museum, 11 October 2003 – 18 January 2004;

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 22 February – 16 May 2004;

La Biennale, Grand Palais, Paris, 11-17 September 2019;

PAD London, Berkeley Square, London, 30 September 6 – October 2019