Lekythos with a woman

A classical-form lekythos with a pyriform body above a disk-form base, a strip handle and a long neck ending in a trumpet-form mouth. The vase made by the red-figure technique on a black background. The body of the vase is covered by black slip, as is half of the neck up to the mouth and also the upper section of the foot or base. The shoulder, the figurative scene and the outer surface of the base display the natural colour of the clay.

The shoulder of the vase is decorated with black palmettes. The figurative decoration is on the body of the vessel. Above this, circling just below the shoulder, there is a band of meander painted in black. The iconography of the principal motif of the vase is a woman wearing a chiton and himation, and holding a mirror or fan in her left hand.

A lekythos is a type of Greek pottery used to store perfumed oil to be used to anoint the body. This sort of vessel was also used for funerary purposes. It is characterized by its elongated form, narrow neck and wide mouth which facilitates application of the oil while controlling the flow.

Red-figure pottery was one of the most important figurative styles of Greek production. It developed in Athens around 530 BCE and was used until the 3rd Century AD. In the space of a few decades it took over the place of the previous dominant style of black-figure pottery. The technical base was the same in both cases but in red-figure pottery the colouring is reversed so that the figures stand out on a dark background as if they were lit up in a more natural way. The painters who did black-figure work were forced to keep the motifs they painted well apart one from the other and to limit their complexity. In contrast, the red-figure technique gave much greater liberty. Each figure was silhouetted against a black background, allowing the painters to portray anatomical details with greater accuracy and variety.

The technique consisted of painting the motifs on the vessels while they were still unfired using a transparent slip, which when fired took on a black coloration. In this manner the motifs were invisible before firing so that the painters had to work from memory without seeing their earlier work. Once the piece had been fired the zones which had not been covered by the slip retained the red colouring of the clay while the glossy areas, those that had been painted, acquired a dense, brilliant black colour.

Related works of art

lekythos griego cerámica j bagot arqueologia
plato etrusca bronce etruscan bronze 20174306 jbagot (5)
anforiskos red figure figuras rojas greek vase shape forma j bagot arqueologia
vaso maya Chocholá mayan vase j bagot arqueologia
Crátera de columnas con el regreso de Hefesto al Olimpo acompañado de Dionisos Atribuida al Pintor de Hephaistos

Consell de Cent, 278
08007 Barcelona SPAIN
(+34) 93 140 53 26

Monday - Saturday
10h to 14h
16:30h to 20:00h

Uso de cookies

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de cookies, pinche el enlace para mayor información.plugin cookies

Aviso de cookies