Skip to Main Content

Black-Figure Loutrophoros (Ritual Water Vessel): Prothesis (Laying out of Corpse), Mourners

c. 500 BCE
Overall: 43.5 cm (17 1/8 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Mourning figures wrap all the way around this vessel, even beneath the handles.

Description

The loutrophoros, a tall-necked water vessel, served two main purposes in ancient Athens. In life, it carried sacred spring water for ceremonial pre-marriage baths. After death, it marked the tomb of an unmarried person, as if to account for that not experienced in life. Here, both the precise shape—a two-handled loutrophoros amphora rather than a three-handled loutrophoros hydria—and the depiction of the deceased suggest the commemoration of a departed man (rather than a woman). The iconography is entirely funerary, with multiple mourning figures shown: four women on the neck; six women surrounding the corpse on its bier; and three men making farewell gestures. The inscriptions near some of the mourning women do not spell out real words but may represent their sorrowful cries.
Black-Figure Loutrophoros (Ritual Water Vessel): Prothesis (Laying out of Corpse), Mourners

Black-Figure Loutrophoros (Ritual Water Vessel): Prothesis (Laying out of Corpse), Mourners

c. 500 BCE

Greek, Attic

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.