Oil flask (lekythos) depicting two women at a grave stele

Classical Period
about 440 B.C.
the Achilles Painter

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 055.


Overall: 32.7 x 10 cm (12 7/8 x 3 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, White Ground

On View

Gallery 212A-B


The Ancient World



A scene on this white ground lekythos shows two women visiting a grave stele that has been draped with two fillets or wreaths. Both women are barefoot, and wear their hair up in neat bun.The woman approaching from the right wears a white sleeved garment and mantle that has faded to a rusty red. She carries a specialized vessel for perfumed oil (a plemochoe) in her right hand, preparing to anoint the tomb or pour a libation. The woman approaching from the left wears a garment visible now only be the outline, as the original delicate color (likely Egyptian blue or ochre, added after firing) has entirely faded away. Her hands are held in a way that suggests that she once prepared to adorn the stele further with a fillet or wreath that has since faded.


By date unknown: with Mr. de Caix de Saint-Aymour in Paris (according to MFA Pottery Register: said to have been found in the island of Euboea, at Eretria); purchased from him by an Anonymous donor (Edward Perry Warren); gift of Edward Perry Warren to MFA, March 1893

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Perry Warren