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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Mediterranean
Creator Dates/Places: Ancient Greece Early Western World,Ancient Mediterranean,Ancient
Creator Active Place: Early Western World,Ancient Mediterranean,Ancient
Creator Name-CRT: Greek
Title: Pyxis (Container for Personal Objects)
Title Type: preferred
View: 3/4 view
Creation Start Date: -76
Creation End Date: -73
Creation Date: Geometric Period, 760/735 B.C.
Creation Place: Europe,Greece,Greater Athens,Athens
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Vessel
Materials and Techniques: Earthenware
Dimensions: H.: 28.6 cm (11-1/4 in.); Diam.: 35.9 cm (14-1/8 in.)
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1976.2
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, Costa A. Pandeleon Endowment
Subject Description: This circular box, or pyxis, was used to contain cosmetics, jewelry, trinkets, or other personal items. Its surface decoration exemplifies the age known as the Geometric Period because of the precise and mathematical style of its painted designs. The handle of the lid is in the form of four horses presented in the Geometric style (so Geometric can be used to refer either to the period or to the style) with cylindrical bodies, short flat necks, tubular heads, and otherwise flat forms. Horse handles appeared first in Geometric works either as a single horse or a pair, and later in teams of three or four, as here. The presentation of inanimate forms as animate beings either human or animal, as in the handle of this pyxis, is a characteristic trait of Greek art in this and other periods.
Context: The horses take on a social significance as emblems of aristocracy, since the raising of horses was an aristocratic pursuit that only the rich could afford. Greece in the Geometric period was an agrarian society with large landowners and tenant farmers. Emerging from the recession caused by the fall of the Mycenean kingdoms, Greece began to form cities (poleis), initiated the Olympic Games, and sent out colonies east and west.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1976.2
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998
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