Oil flask (lekythos) with the birth of Dionysos
Early Classical Period
about 460 B.C.
The Alkimachos Painter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 148.
Height: 42.8 cm (16 7/8 in.); diameter: 14.5 cm (5 11/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Red Figure technique
Not On View
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.
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.
Meaningless inscriptions: ESNOSN KOSN
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)
Catharine Page Perkins Fund