Attic Red-Figure Squat Lekythos

Meidias Painterabout 400 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Eros, the winged god of love, kneels in front of a woman sitting on a rock and unfastens her sandal on this Athenian red-figure lekythos. Hermes, the messenger of the gods, identified by his kerykeion, and Paris, shown as a young hunter, observe this scene from either side. Who is this woman? Certain elements of the scene, such as the sandal-loosening suggest that she is Helen, whose affair with Paris caused the Trojan War, whereas other elements, such as the presence of Hermes and the outdoor setting, suggest that the woman is Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The artist appears to have blended the iconography of two favorite scenes of the period around 400 B.C.: the judgment of Paris and the romance of Paris and Helen. This vase also shows several of the elaborations favored by vase-painters in this period: the use of a great deal of added white color and the addition of gilding to enrich the vase's decoration.

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  • Title: Attic Red-Figure Squat Lekythos
  • Creator: Manner of Meidias Painter
  • Date: about 400 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 12.7 x 6.8 cm (5 x 2 11/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Lekythos
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.AE.259
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 104, Gods and Goddesses
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Classification: Vessels


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