Attic Black-Figure Lekythos by the Athena Painter

SKU: HQ.0033

Origin: Greece
Circa: 490 - 480 BC
Dimensions: 11.125" Height x 4" in diameter (28.3 cm x 10.2 cm)
Medium: Terracotta

A beautiful wheel-thrown pottery lekythos attributed to the Athena Painter that was finely painted via the black-figure technique on a white ground with extensive incised details as well. The figurative program features a nude male athlete standing in composite profile, with his muscular legs advancing to the right as his upper body dramatically twists backwards in order to throw his javelins, while his discus is between his striding legs. Before him is a cloaked, bearded figure who plays a double flute. The two-pronged stick crossing over the musician's body was typically used by an athlete's coach (now lost). Details of the athlete's musculature, the musician's drapery, as well as the facial features and beards of both figures are finely incised.

Private Los Angeles, California, USA collection; acquired at auction in 2013 by a Swiss Collection; ex-private Munich collection, acquired in the 1970s

40% of the barrel is restored. Remarkably there are repairs across the art, but the only section of art that is new is on the musician's face from the right temple through the right shoulder across to the front right pectoral up to the elbow and then up to the first half of the flute and upper shoulder. The foot is intact and has maker's mark. Thje neck has been reattached.

Lekythoi were used to store oil used for a wide variety of purposes in the Classical World. While larger examples were usually designated for keeping olive oil, smaller more delicate examples were reserved for the bath to store precious unguents of sweet and floral aromas.



Attic Black-Figure Lekythos by the Athena Painter


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