previous next

52. 13.201 WHITE LEKYTHOS Woman and girl PLATES XXIV and XXVI

Height, 0.383 m.; diameter, 0.115 m. Intact. The lines of the figures, their hair, the outlines of the box, the inscription, and the subsidiary decoration done in thinned glaze, varying from black to golden brown. The woman's dress is yellow, her mantle purplish-red, the framework of the box pinkish-brown. The shoulder decoration is like that on no. 54, fig. 34 (Boston 08.368); but the six leaves in dull paint alternating with the five leaves in glaze forming the palmettes have been omitted or have faded away. A doubtful trace of them is noted by Fairbanks.

From Gela (?). Ann. Rep. 1913, p. 92. Fairbanks, Athenian White Lekythoi, ii, p. 249, no. 32a, Pl. XLI. Beazley, V.A., p. 164, fig. 100. Att. V., p. 378, no. 37. Langlotz, Griechische Vasenbilder, Pl. 37. Pfuhl, iii, fig. 538. Buschor, Münchner Jahrbuch, 1925, p. 13. Richter, Ancient Furniture, fig. 236.

A woman standing in front view with head turned to left, gazing at a girl beside her who holds a small chest. The woman wears a yellow sleeved chiton and a red himation, the folds of both garments being rendered by lines of thinned glaze which show through the added colours. The girl's sleeveless peplos, girded over the overfall, is without colour. The upper eyelid of the woman is rendered by two lines, instead of the usual single line. Hanging behind the girl's head, a sakkos and an oinochoe. In the field, the inscription ΑΞΙΟΠΕΙΘΗΣ ΚΑΛΟΣ ΑΛΚΙΜΑΧΟ, the letters placed stoichedon.

The lower part of the chest has been omitted, or its colour has disappeared, so that it does not appear to rest on the girl's hand. On the form of the chest and the method of fastening the lid by winding a cord about the knobs on the lid and the side see Richter, Ancient Furniture, pp. 89-97. On the name Axiopeithes, which appears also on i no. 53 (Boston 13.187), see above, i no. 49, p. 44 (Boston 13.202).

About 440 B.C. This and the following three white lekythoi are by the Achilles painter, as Beazley has shown. A number of them had already been grouped by Bosanquet round the lekythos in the British Museum, London D 48, with the love-name Hygiainon. And he had seen that they are descended from an earlier series with the names Diphilos, Dromippos, and Lichas. Beazley's most recent list of the later group with the names Hygiainon, Axiopeithes, Alkimedes, includes forty-eight vases.1 But in Vases in Poland, p. 49, postscript, he agrees with Luce2 and Buschor3 in considering 'a number of the lekythoi bearing the love-names Dromippos, Lichas, and Diphilos to be early or fairly early works of the Achilles painter'. He cites thirteen examples, and adds three more of his later period. Still another exquisite work by the painter is now published in F.R. iii, p. 303, fig. 145. It has the name Axiopeithes, and shows a woman with a lyre seated on a rock inscribed 'Helikon'. The list, thus increased to sixty-five works, shows an interesting development of technique. The pictures of the earlier group are drawn in glaze lines on a yellowish ground, and the flesh parts of the figures covered with added white. In the later series the pure white ground has been perfected, making possible such masterpieces of outline drawing as appear on the lekythoi no. 52 and no. 53 (Boston 13.201 and Boston 13.187). Finally, if our description of no. 54 (Boston 08.368) is correct, we have in it an example of the later technique in which only dull paint was used for the pictures. The Achilles master thus appears not only as the chief, but 'the determining painter of white lekythoi'.45


J. D. Beazley, JHS 34 (1914), p. 222, no. 35; E. Pfuhl, 1926, Masterpieces of Greek Drawing and Painting, London, Chatto and Windus, p. 68, fig. 89; Beazley 1938, pp. 1-2, pl. 1, 1; E. Buschor, 1939, Grab eines attischen Mädchens, Verlag Bruckmann, Munich, pp. 44-45 (figs. 36-37), 47; G. M. A. Richter, AJA 45 (1941), p. 129; ARV, pp. 642-643, no. 131; Buschor 1954, p. 49, illus.; Robertson 1959, pp. 141 (color illus.), 142; Richter 1959, p. 337, fig. 453; ARV2, p. 997, no. 156; J. Thimme, AntK 7 (1964), p. 24, pl. 7, 1; Robsjohn-Gibbings & Pullin 1963, p. 35, illus.; Richter 1966, p. 75, fig. 392; Para., p. 438, no. 156; Felten 1971, pp. 38, 63; Charbonneaux et al. 1972, pp. 250-251 (fig. 284), 391 (F. Villard); G. Dontas, AntK 16 (1973), p. 73; Kurtz 1975, p. 46, note 9; Folsom 1976, p. 146, pl. 47; Antiquitas Saeculi Iuventus Mundi 4, 1979, (in Japanese), p. 77, fig. 68 (color); Vermeule 1982, pp. 180-181, 228, 504, fig. 234; Wehgartner 1983, pp. 22, 27, 186, note 21, pl. 4, 1; Wehgartner 1985, p. 41, note 108; CVA, Basel, 3, p. 75, under no. BS 454 (V. Slehoferova); J. Reilly, Hesperia 58 (1989), p. 441, no. 87; Beazley 1989, pp. 26-31, 33, pl. 17, 1; Beazley Addenda 2, p. 313.


1 Att. V., p. 376.

2 A.J.A. xxiii, 1919, pp. 19-32.

3 Attische Lekythen der Parthenonzeit, pp. 12-13.

4 Beazley, Vases in Poland, p. 50.

5 (From Addenda to Part I) No. 52. ARV. p. 642, Achilles Painter no. 131. AWL. pl. 1, 1; Buschor Grab eines attischen Mädchens pp. 44-5.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: