About this artwork
The type of tall, cylindrical vessel with spiraling handles shown here was made only in Apulia. Lavishly decorated, its purpose was to hold water for ritual bathing before marriage. Its body is divided into two zones, each featuring four beautifully clothed, coiffed and bejeweled women, alternately standing and sitting as they chat with a companion. Such vases were also placed in the tombs of unmarried girls to mark their union with Hades, god of the underworld. This vase might have served that such a purpose, since the reverse depicts a woman within a funerary naiskos, or temple-like structure. Seated and standing females bear gifts and offerings.
- Ancient Greek
- Loutrophoros (Container for Bath Water)
- 350 BC–340 BC
- Terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique
- 88 × 37.5 × 26 cm (34 3/4 × 14 3/4 × 10 1/4 in.)
- Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund