Oil flask (lekythos) depicting scenes of courtship, riding, and hare hunting

Greek
Archaic Period
about 560–540 B.C.
The Painter of Boston 08.291


Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Dimensions

Height: 12.4 cm (4 7/8 in.); diameter: 9 cm (3 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

08.291

Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Black Figure

On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Vessels

There are three friezes of decoration on this vessel. The upper frieze shows a man “courting” a boy in the center. The pair are approached on both sides by two files of men (clearly bearded) and youths (unbearded) carrying gifts - a javelin, a diskos, a hare, two cocks . Many Attic vases treat this subject, some with great delicacy, others in pornographic detail. The middle frieze depicts a procession of six young, beardless horsemen, riding towards the right. The lower frieze shows 2 dogs chasing a hare around the vessel into a net, with a cock-fight in the center. A vertical reading shows a connection between the cockfight at the bottom and the competitive courtship ritual in the upper frieze (cf. Barringer, The Hunt in Ancient Greece, p94)
Meaningless inscriptions appear on all three registers. These are “mock inscriptions” which are used when “the artist’s literacy failed or no proper names were required” (Boardman, Athenian Black Figure Vases, p.200)

Provenance

By 1896: with Edward Perry Warren (according to his records: bought from a French dealer, 1896); gift of Edward Perry Warren and Fiske Warren to MFA, May 1908

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Perry and Fiske Warren