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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
Creator Name: Achilles Painter
Creator Role: painter
Creator Dates/Places: Greek; fl. c.450-420 B.C. Early Western World, Ancient Mediterranean, Ancient
Creator Name-CRT: Achilles Painter
Title: Lekythos (Oil Bottle)
Title Type: preferred
View: view depicting old man in cloak with stick
Creation Start Date: -45
Creation End Date: -44
Creation Date: High Classical Period, 450/440 B.C.
Creation Place: Europe, Greece, Greater Athens, Athens
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Vessel
Materials and Techniques: Earthenware, white-ground technique
Dimensions: H.: 30.8 cm (12-1/8 in.); Diam. at shoulder: 9.8 cm (3-7/8 in.)
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1907.20
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Martin A. Ryerson
Subject Description: Lekythoi were favored gifts for male burials, since they were popular as containers of the oil with which young athletes cleaned themselves. This lekythos is quite typical, showing a farewell scene on the main frieze. The older man (with stick and cloak) salutes the departed youth, a warrior, who holds his spear proudly. Some of the washes of color added to the garment have faded away. This vase has the distinction of having been painted by a leading exponent of red-figure painting, the Achilles Painter (named for his depiction of Achilles on an amphora in the Vatican Museum), who also tried his hand at the white-ground technique.
Context: Baked clay vessels decorated with mythological and genre scenes were used by Greeks as dinner party ware, prizes, gifts, and grave offerings. During the High Classical Period Athens was the leading center in vase production, as well as the intellectual and political leader of the Greek mainland and the Ionian coast. Philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, and the politician Pericles worked at this time in the city that was restoring the ruined Acropolis with building such as the Parthenon.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1907.20
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998
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