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Loutrophoros (Container for Bath Water)

A work made of terracotta, red-figure.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, red-figure.


350-340 BCE


Attributed to the Varrese Painter
Greek; Apulia, Italy

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.


On View, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Loutrophoros (Container for Bath Water)


Apulia (Object found in)


350 BCE–340 BCE


terracotta, red-figure


88 × 37.5 × 26 cm (34 3/4 × 14 3/4 × 10 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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