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14. 13.195 LEKYTHOS Cows led to sacrifice PLATE IV

Height, 0.31 m.; diameter, 0.124 m. Broken, but repaired without appreciable injury to the picture. The neck of the lekythos, the top of the lip, and the edge of the upper member of the foot reserved. On the shoulder, below a tongue pattern, black palmettes in three groups, with single ivy-leaves in the field. Relief contours throughout. The hair contours reserved. Red used for the wreaths of the two youths, the branches they hold, the halters of the cows, the tassel at the end of the woman's fillet, the fillet tied about the column, two bands encircling the vase below the reserved ground line of the picture. The streamers hanging from the cows' horns are of alternate red and white tufts. The faint inner markings in brown are indicated in the drawing, which is, however, to be corrected in two particulars: the three wavy tresses showing against the woman's neck are not painted, but indented: they belong to the preliminary sketch, and should therefore have been omitted. The same remark applies to the line indicating the jaw of the first youth.

From Gela. Ann. Rep. 1913, p. 90. Beazley, V.A., p. 26. Hoppin, i, p. 462, no. 1. Pfuhl, i, p. 429. Jacobsthal, Ornamente griechischer Vasen, Pl. 54 a. The shape is given in Hambidge, Dyn. Sym., p. 131, fig. 10, and Caskey, G.G.V., p. 212, no. 166.

The picture, which covers most of the circumference of the lekythos, shows a gay festal procession advancing towards a sacred precinct indicated by an Ionic column. Preceded by a woman bearing a large, high-handled ceremonial basket on her head, two youths are leading two cows to the sacrifice. The kanephoros has her head bound by a broad fillet with a red tassel at its end, and she is richly garbed in an Ionic chiton embroidered with crosses and a large himation. Two ends of this are laid over the woman's shoulders and hang almost to the ground in elaborate, symmetrically arranged zigzag folds. But the artist has failed to visualize this arrangement of the drapery, for some of the folds begin at the shoulders, others below the sleeves of the chiton (as if the mantle were hanging behind the arms), while the pinned upper edges of the sleeves are shown from neck to elbow. The mantle of Anakreon on the lekythos by the same painter, referred to below, is worn in the same way; but in this case its folds are correctly carried up over the shoulder. The sacrificial basket with three high loop-handles is familiar from many vase paintings as well as from terra-cotta models.1 The youths are wreathed, and wear mantles disposed so as to leave the right arm and shoulder bare. They carry branches (θαλλοὶ), the first in his left, the second in both hands. The halters (or possibly one long rope) tied about the horns of the cows are held in the raised right hand of the first youth and in the left hand of the second. Long streamers composed of tufts of red and white wool hang from the victims' horns. The Ionic column, set on a nondescript two-stepped base and having a plinth below the volutes of its capital, is decorated for the festival with a red fillet tied about its shaft.2 The space below the handle of the lekythos, between the two ends of the procession, is filled with a floral design composed of four large palmettes and two lotus flowers.

On a fragmentary black-figured lekythos from the Acropolis, published by Langlotz, Akropolisvasen, no. 2298, Pl. 96, and dated by him early in the fifth century, the same subject is represented in greater detail (see fig. 9, Suppl. Pl. I).3 A cow with a fillet hanging from its horns is being led to the sacrifice; the worshippers carry branches; there is a kanephoros with a three-handled basket on her head; the column with a fillet tied about it reappears, supporting in this case a rudimentary triglyph frieze. Within the temple thus indicated a worshipper stands before a striding figure of Athena. The close correspondence between the two scenes makes it certain that ours represents a sacrifice to the same divinity.4 The picture, which looks like an archaic forerunner of the Parthenon frieze, may thus actually portray a group from the Panathenaic procession. A third picture much like ours is on a Boeotian lekanis in London (London B 80: J.H.S. i, pl. 7; Corpus, B.M. III He, pl. 7, 4: see A. D. Ure in J.H.S. 49, p. 167): here also the deity is Athena.

Painted in black letters running round the lip of the lekythos is the signature of the potter Gales: ΓΑΛΕΣ ΕΠΟΙΕΣΕΝ.5 This signature occurs in the same place on another lekythos, also found at Gela, which is almost an exact duplicate of ours as regards shape and subsidiary decoration.6 Its badly preserved picture — Anakreon with lyre accompanied by two youthful revellers — is by the same hand, as Beazley has observed, but less finely drawn. The stiff, angular bodies of the two youths show that the painter was not abreast of the athletic movement inaugurated at the close of the sixth century. He is more successful in his rendering of the long-robed Ionic poet. But it remained for the Boston lekythos to reveal his real power and individuality. Beazley places him in the neighbourhood of Euthymides, and notes that the kylix at Yale (Baur, The Stoddard Collection, no. 163, Pl. XV) shows very close resemblances to his style.7

The lekythos, which is to be dated not later than 510 B.C., is one of a very small group painted in the early red-figured style. As Beazley has remarked, V.A., p. 26, the bloom of the red-figured lekythos came later, in the ripe archaic period, when a more slender and graceful shape had been developed and the picture was limited to one or two figures. Apparently lekythoi continued for the most part to be decorated in black figure throughout the early archaic red-figured period. The exceptions include, besides the two Gales vases, the fine little lekythos in Girgenti with soldiers arming which stands close to them in style,8 and the Boston lekythos published below, no. 15 (Boston 95.42). All these resemble the black-figured examples in that numerous figures encircle the vase. A fifth early red-figured lekythos, in the British Museum, is of the same heavy proportions, but has only two figures — a young reveller and an old woman, Οἰνοφίλη, drawn in the manner of the Panaitios painter.910


Haspels 1936, I, p. 69; ARV, p. 30, no. 1 (Gales Painter); Richter 1946, p. 58, fig. 41; Chase 1950, p. 62, fig. 69; M. Pallottino, ArchCl 2 (1950), p. 165, pl. 49, 5; A. A. M. van der Heyden and H. H. Scullard, eds., 1959, Atlas of the Classical World, New York, Nelson, p. 61, fig. 119; EAA, III, p. 762, fig. 935 (E. Paribeni); Chase & Vermeule 1963, pp. 89, 95, 101, fig. 82; ARV2, pp. 35-36 (no. 1), 1621; H. Palmer, in C. W. Blegen, H. Palmer, and R. S. Young, Corinth 13: The North Cemetery, Princeton, NJ, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, p. 237; Follmann 1968, pp. 33 (as 13.95), 94, note 211; Samos, XI, p. 132, under no. 64 A/B (Freyer-Schauenburg 1974); Schelp 1975, pp. 40, 87, no. K 33; B. A. Sparkes, JHS 95 (1975), p. 131, pl. 15a; Boardman 1975, pp. 114, 131 (fig. 211), 210, 215, 221, 245; Burke & Pollitt 1975, p. 46, under no. 42 (J. Blanchard); Kurtz 1975, pp. 13, 79, 95, pl. 6, 1; E. G. Pemberton, AJA 80 (1976), p. 123; J. Zahle, JdI 94 (1979), p. 298, note 87; Schmaltz 1980, p. 14, note 53; Beazley Addenda 1, p. 76; I. S. Mark, Hesperia 53 (1984), p. 331; H. A. Shapiro, AJA 92 (1988), p. 378, note 31; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 158; J.-L. Durand, Senri Ethnological Studies 27 (1990), pp. 147, 156, pl. 3.


1 See especially Deubner, 'Hochzeit und Opferkorb', Jahrbuch, xl, 1925, pp. 250 ff.

2 The column on the black-figured lekythos cited below is similarly adorned. The forked iron pins in the bolsters of the capitals of the North Porch of the Erechtheum are thought to have served to secure garlands or other decorations at festivals; cf. Stevens-Paton, The Erechtheum, p. 83.

3 In B.S.R. xi, 1929, p. 12, no. 15, Beazley assigns this lekythos to the 'Edinburgh painter'.

4 The sex of the animals suggests a goddess; and only female victims were offered to Athena. Cf. Stengel, Die Griech. Kultusaltertümer, p. 152.

5 For other instances of inscriptions on the upper surface of the mouth of a vase see Beazley, Corpus, Oxford, i, p. 43, Pl. 49, 15.

6 In Syracuse. Orsi, Mon. Ant. xix, 1909, pp. 102-115, figs. 9, 10, Pl. III. Hoppin, i, p. 464, no. 2.

7 A paragraph is devoted to the Gales painter by Pfuhl, Malerei und Zeichnung der Griechen, p. 429. He regards the two lekythoi as obviously by the same hand. Langlotz, Zeitbestimmung, p. 41, note 4, tentatively assigns a cup in Würzburg, Urlichs, iii, no. 288, to him; but this attribution is not accepted by Beazley.

8 Published by Politi, Un Leckitos (Palermo, 1840), and by Gábrici in Atti della R. Accademia di Scienze, Lettere, e Belle Arti di Palermo, v, 1929, fig. 6 and pl. I.

9 London 1922.10-18.1. From Sicily. Beazley, Att. V., p. 171, below, no. 4.

10 (From Addenda to Part I) No. 14. ARV. p. 30, Gales Painter no. 1. Chase Guide p. 62; detail (after Caskey), Richter A.R.V.S. fig. 41. On the shape see Haspels ABL. pp. 69-70.

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