Black figure lekythos

Diosphos Painter"circa 530 BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art
Athens, Greece

Two females fill their hydrias with water at a fountain with lion-head waterspouts. A young male appears to be addressing one of them, while on the right is an ithyphallic herm. The decoration of the vase is not related to its use. Such scenes of daily life are usually encountered on hydrias, the vases women used to carry water from the public fountains. Women usually came with companions to the fountains, which thus became social meeting places. Sometimes, however, the fountains were frequented by men who - on the pretext of being helpful - tried to sexually harass the unsuspecting ladies. The frequent depiction of fountains and fountain houses on Attic vases of the last decades of the 6th c. BC most probably reflects the influential role in contemporary Athenian life of famous public fountains - such as the Enneakrounos - which were constructed by the Tyrant Peisistratos or the Peisistratids, as part of their populist policy. Herms (rectangular pillars crowned by a male bust and bearing an erect penis) were first set up in Athens by Hipparchos, son of Peisistratos, around 520 BC. They served as signposts and marked the mid-points between the various villages of Attica and the Athenian Agora. In no time, every neighbourhood of Athens acquired its own herm.


  • Title: Black figure lekythos
  • Creator: Diosphos Painter
  • Creator Gender: None
  • Date Created: "circa 530 BC" - ""
  • Read more: <a href="http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=resource&cresrc=795&cnode=55&clang=1">Read more</a>
  • Provenance: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: h320 mm
  • Period: Archaic period
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Type: lekythos
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, N.P. Goulandis Collection, no. 1104, http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=25&clang=1
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: clay

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