The Atalanta Lekythos (Funerary Oil Jug)

The Atalanta Lekythos (Funerary Oil Jug)

500-490 BC

attributed to Douris


Painted white-ground terracotta

Overall: 31.8 cm (12 1/2 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1966.114


Fun Fact

Funeral rites in ancient Greece involved the dedication of special vessels, such as this exquisite white-ground oil container called a lekythos. The delicacy of line, complex composition, and well-preserved condition distinguish this vase as one of the finest of its type to have survived from antiquity.


The extraordinary intact conditon of the fragile white ground and the spirited yet delicate drawing have made the vase renowned as one of the finest white ground lekythoi in existence. Atalanta, who would marry only the man who could beat her in a foot race, is here being teased by three Erotes, winged gods of love. Each figure is identified by name: EPOS and ATALANTE. Douris was an Athenian vase painter who was active from about 500–460 BC.


The Atalanta Lekythos
See also
GR - Greek
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 

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