Attic Lekythos

Illustration

Mark Cartwright
by Peter Roan
published on 20 March 2013

An Attic lekythos vase, c. 450 BCE. This type of vessel was used for storing fine oils and perfume and often dedicated in burials. Here, Charon is depicted, the boatman who ferried souls across the river Styx to Hades. To the right is Hermes, identified by his kerykeion or herald's staff and fulfilling one of his functions as guide to the dead. The white-slip background is a typical decoration for lekythoi. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

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