Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Greek collection

Attic white-ground lekythos

These types of vases – quite rare outside Attica – represent a particular category in terms of both technique and their intended recipient. In the second quarter of the 5th century BC, white-ground lekythoi were produced exclusively as funerary vessels. This function is confirmed not only by the types of scenes depicted on the vessels, most of which refer to the afterlife or offerings and leave-taking at a tomb, but also by the fact that on some of the vases the lekythos is depicted on the steps of funerary stelae. The ground of the vase is finished in a white limewash slip.

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The decoration was executed using various pigments made from earths (different shades of red, as well as black and yellow) and was applied after the vase had been fired. Despite the difficulty in conserving the pigments, the influence of great contemporary Greek painting is evident.

Provenance: Athens. Palagi Collection (formerly the Skene Collection)
Datation: 450–425 BC, Achilles Painter
Material: clay
Dimensions: height cm 35,5
Inventory #: G 123

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Exhibition rooms | Rooms V and VI - Greek collection