Oil flask (lekythos) with Eros seated on an altar holding a wreath

Greek, South Italian
Late Classical Period
about 350 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 111.


21.2 cm (8 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Gnathian Ware

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



Eros, seated on an altar, holding wreath in right hand. (Eros painted in brown on black glaze.)
Label text:
Gnathia technique
Eros seated on an altar holding a wreath

VASE PAINTING in ITALY, # 111 (01.8106)
Squat Lekythos
about 350 B.C.
Eros is seated to the right on a cube-shaped block or altar, his legs crossed and his left hand resting on his knee. He is nude except for his yellow shoes. With his right hand he holds out a yellow wreath, which he regards witha rather disgusted look. The altar is incised directly on the black ground in three-quarter view (the base in profile). Eros is painted with brown skin delicately shaded with strokes of lighter hue. His hair, pulled up in a tall chignon, is blonde and his wings yellow and white. The ground line is a wavy white line. Compare a pelike in Taranto with a seated Eros holding a wreath (Forti, Gnathia, pl. 6). For the combination of incised block and polychrome figure, compare a krater fragment in Taranto (Forti, Gnathia, pl. 33,c).


By date unknown: van Branteghem Collection; 1892: auction of the van Branteghem Collection, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 30-31, June 1, lot 231 (said to have been found at Tarentum); by 1897: Somzée Collection; 1901: auction of the Somzée Collection (Catalogue des Tapisseries Antiquités Grecques & Faiences Italiannes faisant partie de la Collection de Somzée, Brussels, May 20-23, 1901, lot 105: Trouvé à Tarente); 1901: with E. P. Warren; purchased by MFA from E. P. Warren, December 1901

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund