Lekythos of Philinna, Phanostratos standing at right

Lekythos of Philinna, Philinna seated (detail)

Lekythos of Philinna, detail of Phanostratos

Lekythos of Philinna, Philinna seated

Lekythos of Philinna, detail of Philinna

Image of Boston 1972.864

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Title: Marble Lekythos of Philinna
Context: Probably from Attica
Summary: A mourning woman and a bearded man (Phanostratos), standing around a seated woman (Philinna), bidding farewell
Object Function: Funerary
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Relief-decorated vessel
Category: Single sculpture
Style: Late Classical
Technique: Low relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: +- 10 370 BC
Dimensions: H. (as mounted) 0.25 m; W. (max.) 0.25 m
Scale: Miniature (pictorial field)
Region: Attica
Period: Late Classical

Subject Description:

A short-haired woman stands in a 3/4-view to the right, with her weight on her left leg, and her right leg bent. She rests her head on her left hand, while she cradles her left elbow in her right arm, which is folded across her waist. She wears a mantle which almost completely covers her body, although the hem of her chiton (undergarment) emerges beneath, and her forearms are visible. A second woman, Philinna, sits profile to the right in a klismos (a backed chair, with splaying legs). She holds her left hand to her neck, and shakes her right hand with the left hand of the man opposite her. Some wavy hair emerges from beneath her mantle, which is draped over her lap and both shoulders, as well as her head. Her undergarment is visible only on her chest. A bearded man, Phanostratos, stands 3/4-view to the left, with weight on his right leg, his left hand held at his waist, while he shakes his right hand with that of the seated woman. He wears a himation draped over his left shoulder, across his waist, and bunched over his left forearm. The handshake signifies the departure of one of these figures, probably the seated one, to the afterlife. The woman standing behind is a mourner, probably a servant as indicated by her short hair. Such monuments stood in family burial plots, and could serve to mark the tombs of more than one person, perhaps even the entire family.

Form & Style:

The figures are carved in low relief, with schematic, angular drapery. Anatomy is proportional, but not detailed.

Condition: Intact

Condition Description: A single piece comprising the front-right portion of the body of the loutrophoros, broken at top and bottom. The surface has some solution cracks and is slightly scratched and stained, with pinkish-brown stains. There are also chips around the upper and lower edges.

Material Description:

Pentelic marble (MFA cat.)

Inscription: The second two figures are named, by inscription, above each of their heads: *F*I*L*I*N*N*A *F*A*N*O*S*T*R*A*T*O*S (Philinna, Phanostratos). The second name is broken after the first A by the head of the man.

Inscription Bibliography: SEG 28.352

Collection History: Previously in a collection in France (?). Acquired from a private collection in Switzerland in 1972.

Sources Used:

Comstock & Vermeule 1976, no. 74 (with previous bibliography)

Other Bibliography:

Herrmann 1988, 12, 18-19 no. 6, ill.