This tiny Proto-Corinthian black-figure aryballos (oil container) shows a combination of painted and modeled decoration. The main zone on the body of the vase shows three goats. On the front of the vessel, two goats confront one another and, on the back, a large goat grazes. The empty spaces between the animals are filled with pairs of chevrons and dot rosettes. A lotus bud with floral scrolls adorns the shoulder, and rays surround the base. The neck and mouth of the aryballos are modeled in the form of a woman's head.
The workshop to which this aryballos is attributed, known as the Chigi Group, was active in the ancient city of Corinth from about 660 to 640 B.C. This group was composed of several vase-painters who were closely associated with the Chigi Painter, one of the great masters of Corinthian vase-painting. Aryballoi with modeled heads of humans and animals seem to be a specialty of this workshop. They were probably related to plastic vases—vessels made in the form of a human, animal, or mythological creature—which were especially popular in the Greek world in the mid-600s B.C. Aryballoi were used to hold perfumed oil. The vessel's narrow opening was designed to restrict the flow of this precious commodity.