The golden apples of immortality grew in the mythological Garden of the Hesperides. On this Athenian red-figure lekythos, four nymphs tend the trees, and the goddess Artemis approaches in a chariot drawn by deer, accompanied by a centaur. Although the Garden frequently appears in Greek art in connection with the labors of Herakles, it simply serves as an idyllic setting frequented by divinities on this lekythos. Gardens were a favorite theme in the work of several vase-painters in the late 400s B.C. The peaceful setting contrasted sharply with the grim reality of the ongoing war that Athens was fighting against Sparta and her allies.
The vase-painter attempted to create a sense of depth and landscape in the painting by adding faintly outlined rocks, such as those that partially hide Artemis and those supporting the Hesperids.