Oil flask (lekythos) with the birth of Dionysos

Greek
Early Classical Period
about 460 B.C.
The Alkimachos Painter


Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 148.

Dimensions

Height: 42.8 cm (16 7/8 in.); diameter: 14.5 cm (5 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

95.39

Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure technique

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Vessels

Birth of Dionysos from the thigh of Zeus. Zeus seated; head of infant Dionysos visible; Hermes facing Zeus. A meaningless inscription over the head of Zeus (ESNOSN KOSN). Surface somewhat corroded.

[Label text]:
The scene on this oil jar depicts the unusual birth of the wine god Dionysos through Zeus’ thigh. The small head of the infant can be seen protruding from Zeus’ leg. Hermes holds Zeus’ staff and waits to carry Dionysos off to be raised by nymphs.

Inscription

Meaningless inscriptions: ESNOSN KOSN

ΕSΝΟSΝ ΚΟSΝ

Provenance

By 1893: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: August 1893. Said to have been found at Eretria); 1895: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 29,857.37 (this figure is the total price for MFA 95.9-95.174)

Credit Line

Catharine Page Perkins Fund