Wellesley (Buitron No. 27)BLACK-FIGURE LEKYTHOS, WHITE-GROUND
Lent by the Wellesley College Art Museum
Height: 8 5/16 in. (21.2 cm.)
Repaired and restored at handle and base.
Three Amazons. One Amazon is ready; she is fully armed in high-crested Attic (?) helmet, corslet, chitoniskos, greaves, and scabbard. She holds two javelins and leads her horse to the right while waiting for her companions. In front of her another Amazon is lifting her shield (device: white balls). Behind, the third Amazon with her Corinthian helmet pulled down over her face holds her shield (device: coiled snake) and seems to be testing her javelin. An animated dog is at her feet. Behind the horse is a tree and under his tail is an inscription with five pseudo letters; another inscription with seven pseudo letters is between the first two Amazons. On the shoulder, lotus buds connected by tendrils with tongues above; above the scene, leftward meander between black lines. Red: the horse's tail and base of mane, crests of the helmets, edge of one shield, upper edge of mouth, dots on borders of drapery, collar of dog. Reserved neck and shoulder, under handle, two bands below scene, edge of upper disk of foot.
Attributed to the Diosphos Painter [Beazley] ca. 500 - 475 B. C. Amazons as shown here, arming and preparing to leave for battle, do not become popular until the period of developed black-figure. Previously, they had been shown mainly in the context of mythological battle scenes with Herakles or at Troy (see von Bothmer 1957, 91). The Diosphos Painter is a light-hearted but careful draftsman with a fondness for child-like figures and pets but lacking unity in his compositions (Haspels 1936, 94 ff). The shape and decoration of this lekythos is typical of him, and he shares an affinity for it with the Sappho Painter. The inscription of pseudo letters is also characteristic (ibid).