Object Image

Attic White-Ground Lekythos

From the end of the 500s B.C.E (around 525-501 B.C.E.), the lekythos served as a funerary vase for offerings of oil for the dead. Around 450-401 B.C.E., white-ground lekythoi like this one, upon which the decoration was painted over a white slip, became the typical funerary vase. The lekythos features a woman offering a wreath, which may have been part of the Athenian funerary practice and carried religious significance. Scholars debate its specific meaning. It may reference the symbolic fertilization process between the body and the earth, be part of the religious costume worn by individuals during certain festivals, or could serve as a tribute by a family member.

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Ne...

c. 450-425 B.C.E.
Ceramic, paint
Image and text: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Permanent collection