Main panel: mourner on left, lower half

Main panel: mourner on left, upper half

Main panel: mourner on left

Overview: handle rear

Main panel: mourner on right

Shoulder: floral decoration

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Prothesis scene with three mourners.
Ware: Attic Red Figure, White Ground
Painter: Near the Woman Painter
Date: ca. 430 BC - ca. 420 BC

H. 0.277 m.; D. 0.075 m.

Primary Citation: ARV2, 1376, 1.
Shape: Lekythos
Beazley Number: 217659
Period: High Classical


Unbroken. Considerable surface pitting and wear, particularly on the lower part of the white ground area. The figure at right is largely effaced, and the lower half of the woman at left is badly damaged. Many of the added colors have worn off, especially the garments of the deceased and the figure at right. The black glaze on the mouth has suffered.

Decoration Description:

Prothesis scene. The figures are outlined in matt-black. Two women and a youth are mourning over a funeral bier. Because all of the figures, including the deceased, have curly, unbound hair of moderate length, the only indications of sex are their clothes. The woman at left, who clutches her hair with her left hand and extends the right in an emphatic gesture of mourning, wears a belted peplos rendered in bright added red. The woman standing frontally behind the bier is in the same posture, but with the hands reversed. Her belted chiton is drawn with matt black lines. She looks down at the deceased, whose shroud of added color has now disappeared except for a few fold lines. The profile of the deceased is carefully drawn, with a straight nose and closed eyes, but neither this nor the dark curly hair is a sure indication of sex. Red fillets hang from the body and pillow. The embroidered pillow is decorated with wavy lines, and the striped cloth hanging from the bier extends nearly to the floor. The bier itself is essentially a kline. Of the third mourner, at right, only the head, right arm, and the frontal outline of the torso are preserved. The absence of any trace of drapery on the right shoulder suggests the figure wore a himation and is therefore a male (a woman would wear a chiton under the himation). With his right hand, he too pulls at his hair in grief for the deceased.

On the shoulder are three palmettes with petals alternately red and black. The middle palmette points downward and is linked to the other two, which point toward the handles, by scrolling tendrils. Above the figures, framed by paired lines that circle the vase, is a band of maeanders to right, extending two thirds of the way round the vase. The handle, neck, lower body, top of the foot, and the outside of the mouth are black.

Collection History:

Purchase, Alpheus Hyatt Fund.

Sources Used:

Sackler Museum files.