Athenian relief decorated lekythos with symposium scene




An extremely rare squat lekythos with red figure and applied relief decoration. The front of the vase depicts a man reclining on a kline (symposium couch) with his outstretched hand resting on the shoulder of a naked woman seated by his feet. To the right of the banquet couch is a seated woman holding a mirror. A further relief figure has probably been lost on the left side of the central scene.

The back of the lekythos is decorated with a red figure scrolling palmette and the white and red painted relief decoration is set on a black glazed background.

Very few relief-decorated lekythoi have survived from antiquity and only a few dozen examples are recorded in museums and private collections.

Greek, Athens, c. 400-300 BC

Repaired from fragments with losses and wear as seen in the photographs. There is some minor infill in the breaks but no significant restoration or reconstruction.

14.8 x 7 cms

Ex. deceased estate, Gundelfingen, Germany; acquired during the 1950’s-1970’s.

For an example lacking the white painting but with the same symposium scene and different surrounding figures, please see: Berlin Museum, Antikensammlung, inventory F2704.{8799F1F2-A1A1-4564-9FE4-B37049B5197E}

For another relief lekythos with white painting and almost certainly by the same potter/workshop as our example, please see: Getty Museum, Malibu, USA, inventory 79.AE.217{01BC6974-5224-4125-8CC4-83DC388DDE86}