This red-figure lekythos, which is attributed to the Phiale Painter, depicts the Judgement of Paris. The iconographic subject firsr appears in Attic black-figure vase-painting ca. 575 BC and the basic scene includes the three goddesses (Hera, Athens and Aphrodite) whom the messenger of the gods, Hermes, leads before Paris. The Prince of Troy is portrayed bearded, usually sitting on o rocky outcrop - indicating Mount Ida at Troy - and sometimes reluctant to select the most beautiful goddess. On this vase, the goddesses are omitted, yet Paris appears to be aware of the difficult task that Hermes has set him; he probably senses the disaster that will befall his house and his homeland, since the award of the golden apple-prize to Aphrodite would be one of the causes of the outbreak of the Trojan War. Lekythoi were perfume vases, but were not always filled to the top. Inside several of them was a small phial at the base of the neck. Thus, a smaller quantity of the expensive aromatic oil was needed in order to fill the vase. Lekythoi of this type were in fact called "economical lekythoi". This invention is first encountered in the larger black-figure lekythoi by the Beldam Painter (ca. 475-450 BC).