Oil flask (lekythos)

Classical Period
about 440 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens


Overall: 35.1 x 11.1 cm (13 13/16 x 4 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, White Ground

On View

Gallery 212A-B


The Ancient World



The original color on this white-ground lekythos is nearly entirely absent. The laying out of the dead (the “prothesis”). The funeral couch (kline) is central to the composition. The deceased (an unbearded youth) lies on the bier, head resting on a cushion. A Doric column stands at the foot of the kline. Three women stand around the kline. One rests her arm near the deceased youth’s head and pulls at her hair, a second stands behind the kline and pulls at her hair with both hands, and a third pulls at her hair with her left hand while gesturing beseechingly with her right. All three women have cropped hair, and all wear chitons and himations.

Condition: Broken on the back, including neck and handle, and part of right end of design.


By 1892: with Edward Perry Warren (according to his records: bought in Paris in June of 1892 from a Greek, who said it had been found in Athens); 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