Oil flask (lekythos)

Classical Period
about 420 B.C.
the Bird Painter

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens


Overall: 26.5 x 7.5 cm (10 7/16 x 2 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, White Ground

On View

Gallery 212A-B


The Ancient World



A stele topped by an acanthus-ornamented anthemion is rendered in outline at the center of this white-ground lekythos. To the left, a woman approaches with her arms held out as if to drape a wreath or fillet on the tomb. Her hair is worn up in a bun, and both her garment and the item she intended to place on the tomb were rendered in fugitive colors and are no longer visible. To the right an unbearded young man holds two spears in his right hand, wears a voluminous red mantle, and a petasos – a sunhat typically associated with travelers, suggesting that he is travelling from one world to the next.

Condition: Broken in several places and restored; small hole near edge of palmette; faded paint.


By unknown date: James Hattrick Lee Collection; by 1917: Frances Lee Collection (on loan from her to MFA from June 1 to October 19, 1917); by unknown date: Alice Lee Collection (sister of Frances Lee); by 1978: James Hattrick Lee Family Collection (received from Alice Lee); gift of James Hattrick Lee Descendants (Elizabeth C. Bourquin, Rosita Corey, Charlotte L. Doty) to MFA, June 22, 1994

Credit Line

Gift of the Descendants of James Hattrick Lee