RISD 25.082WHITE-GROUND LEKYTHOS
Lent by the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; museum appropriation and special gift (Mrs. Gustav Radeke) (25.082)
Height: 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.)
Broken and repaired at neck; upper neck and mouth foreign. ?? From Greece.
Charon. At the left Charon, the ferryman, prepares to ferry a soul across the River Styx to Hades. He wears a red tunic (exomis) and conical hat (pilos). In one hand he holds an oar, and with the other he steadies himself on the stern of his boat. On the right is his passenger, a woman wearing a black chiton, much faded, and a white himation with red border and belt. Her hair is brown. She holds an aryballos in her right hand. Between the two figures are the tall reeds of the river bank with a red fillet draped in them. Above, meanders, much worn; on the shoulder, red palmettes, black egg and dot pattern, also worn. ??considerable repaint in design areas.
Attributed to the Reed Painter [Beazley] ca. 420 - 400 B. C. The Reed Painter and the dependent R Group form one of the last major white lekythos workshops. The favored subject is Charon, who had appeared by the middle of the fifth century, but who became popular towards the end of the century. The chalky slip and varied polychromy, now much faded, place this lekythos in the late fifth century. Although the style has changed considerably, such late lekythoi still employ the same basic design (black mouth and neck, palmette motif on shoulder, meander pattern above scene) that was established by the Achilles Painter.