Catalogue Entry 
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This vase is one of a arsenal of Greek vases held by the CU art Museum.

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Gift to CU standards DepartmentTransferred to CU Museum of herbal HistoryTransferred come CU arts Museum (2006)

Height: 15.9 cmDiameter (max.): 5.7 cmDate: 5th century B.C.E.Origin: Attica (Greece)

Description: small black-figure lekythos with round base, relatively squat body, small neck, and also slightly flared mouth. Human body carries image of male figure reclining ~ above a couch beneath a grape arbor. A female number is seated on the other side the a vine and also plays the dual flute or aulos. Hastily drawn meander boundaries scene in ~ top. Bottom section of body decorated with solid black color slip. Peak of foot is black, while external circumference of foot scheduled in the color of clay. Shoulder decorated with parallel vertical black color lines; much shorter parallel vertical black lines encircle the bottom of the neck. Handle and also mouth room black. 

Additional photos of this vessel show details that the mouth, rim, handle, decoration, and also base.

Discussion

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A lekythos is a vessel offered to store oil used for spiritual or funerary purposes (1). This lekythos is an instance of an old Greek vase decorated in the black-figure technique (2). The vase is made of a irradiate red clay, through decorative elements, consisting of the figural decoration, included in a black slip. Details the the figures are added by incision. The solitary handle top top this vase is decorated through black on slide on that top, exposed surface and also is left in the color of the clay on its underside. The lip and mouth that the jar space covered in black color slip. Short, parallel upright lines encircle the basic of the neck, while another collection of much longer lines decorates the shoulder that the vessel. A hastily drawn meander wraps about the optimal of the vessel"s body over the figural panel. This same collection of decorative aspects -- 2 rows of parallel upright lines and a meander -- is seen, also, on a red-figure lekythos in the CU art Museum"s collection. The human body of this lekythos is decorated with a figural scene. At left is a male number who reclines ~ above a couch, relaxing on his left elbow. The wears a lengthy cloak. One leg, may be his left, is tucked beneath him, when his other sticks right out from in ~ his cloak. He turns his head to the right, toward a second human figure. This 2nd figure, figured out as female however with no discernible sex, sits, dealing with right with the ago toward the reclining masculine figure. This second figure dram a twin flute or aulos and also wears a fillet in the hair, which is included in red or violet paint. A tree or stalk separates the 2 human figures and above both is a fertile grape arbor, including countless vines through leaves and bunches the grapes, with individual grapes indicated by dots of violet paint. The vines extend roughly nearly half of the circumference of the vase. Beneath the key figural panel is a horizontal band of black color slip, the a medium-thickness, adhered to by a small band left in the shade of the clay (3). Below this clay-colored band, the remainder that the vessel"s body is spanned in black color slip. The base tapers inward and also is attached to a fairly short base, i beg your pardon is decorated in black color slip ~ above its top; the political parties of the base are left in the shade of the clay except for a small ring about the really bottom the the base. 

Although the black-figure method of vase paint was most renowned in the sixth century B.C.E., this vase was more than likely painted in the fifth century B.C.E., ~ the creation of the red-figure technique. The date of this vase is based on several factors. First, the figural depiction of this vase compare favorably with other late black-figure vase paintings, including those through the Antimenes Painter, who functioned from about 530 to 510 B.C.E., and the Leagros Group, that were energetic from about 525 come 500 B.C.E. Second, the top quality of the painting, particularly the hastily drawn meander and also the uneven parallel vertical lines top top the neck and also shoulder, is relatively low, saying that its decoration to be rushed, perhaps also mass-produced. Lekythoi were routinely buried in burial places as presents to the dead and, as a result, a large number have actually been preserved. Artistically-speaking, plenty of of these lekythoi are of a low quality, specifically those in the black-figure an approach that were made in the fifth century B.C.E., after ~ red-figure had end up being dominant (4). 

Lekythoi were provided by the ancient Greeks to organize oil. The small neck of the lekythos to be designed so that the circulation of oil was minimal to a thin stream or perhaps even to drops, when its special lip prevent spillage (5). Olive oil was valuable in the old Greek world. The olive tree was offered to the Athenians by their patron goddess Athena. Harvested in between November and March, the oil of olives was offered for numerous purposes, consisting of as offerings and also dedications because that the dead (6), together prizes because that victorious athletes (7), together a fragrant perfume (8), for consumption, and also for bathing. 

Footnotes

Andrew J. Clark, Maya Elston, and also Mary Louise Hart, Understanding Greek Vases (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust, 2002): 112.Chara Tzavella-Evjen, Greek and also Roman Vases and also Statuettes from the university of snucongo.org Collection (Athens: Archaiologikon Deltion, 1973): 194; Maria Ludwika Bernhard, Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Pologne Fasc. 4, Varsovie, Musée​ nationwide (Warsaw: Panstwowe wydawnictwo nanhowe, 1960): pl. 28, 1-3; Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Deutschland Bd. 4, Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum (Munich: Beck, 1940): pl. 10, 18; Corpus vasorum antiquorum, Italia 18, Taranto, Museuo Nazionale ii (Milan: Bestetti e Tumminelli, 1942): pl. 8, 3. ADelt. 21 (1966): Chronika, Pl.

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99ß.Tzavella-Evjen, Greek and also Roman Vases: 195.Clark, Elston, and Hart, Understanding Greek Vases: 112.Clark, Elston, and also Hart, Understanding Greek Vases​: 112.Christine Bron and François Lissarrague, "Looking at the vase," in ed. Claude Bérard, A City the Images: Iconography and society in ancient Greece (Princeton: Princeton college Press, 1989): 18.Jenifer Neils, Goddess and also Polis The Panathenaic Festival in ancient Athens (Princeton: Princeton university Press, 1992): 5.Clark, Elston, and also Hart, Understanding Greek Vases​: 112.

References

Chara Tzavella-Evjen, Greek and Roman Vases and also Statuettes indigenous the college of snucongo.org Collection (Athens: Archaiologikon Deltion, 1973): 192-197.