The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 4, 2024

Geometric Pitcher: Swans

Geometric Pitcher: Swans

c. 740–730 BCE

attributed to Swan Painter

(Greek, Attic, Late Geometric Ib-IIa)
Overall: 36.2 cm (14 1/4 in.)
Location: 102B Greek

Did You Know?

The stylized swans lend their name to the otherwise anonymous decorator of this vase.


A common shape in the Late Geometric period, the pitcher often attains large dimensions, offering the painter multiple zones for decoration. Here, standing leaves encircle the shoulder, while the neck and body bear wide bands with alternating squares of swans and swastikas. Also known as a hooked cross, the swastika appears frequently as a decorative motif in Greek Geometric pottery, without any clear meaning. The swans, though somewhat abstracted to modern eyes, likely represent one of many waterfowl species native to Greece.
  • ?-1923
    Costis Lembessis, sold to Brummer Gallery
    Brummer Gallery, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Beazley Archive. n.d. Beazley Archive Pottery Database. Oxford: Beazley Archive. BAPD 1001465
    The Brummer Gallery Records. Cloisters (Museum), n.d. P542
    Hubbell, H. M., and William S. Anderson. Yale Classical Studies, Volume Sixteen. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961. pp. 78-79, 153, fig. 112
    Coldstream, J. N. Greek Geometric Pottery: A Survey of Ten Local Styles and Their Chronology. London: Methuen, 1968. pp. 70-71
    Boulter, C. G., Jenifer Neils, and Gisela Walberg. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1971. p. 3, pl. I, 3-4
    Coldstream, J. N. Greek Geometric Pottery: A Survey of Ten Local Styles and Their Chronology. Exeter, Devon: Bristol Phoenix Press, 2008. p. 70, XI.2
  • Five Materials. Ursuline College, Extensions Exhibitions, Pepper Pike, OH (Nov. 1 1983 - Jan. 19, 1984); Beck Center, Lakewood, OH (Sept, 9- Nov. 4, 1984).
  • {{cite web|title=Geometric Pitcher: Swans|url=false|author=Swan Painter|year=c. 740–730 BCE|access-date=04 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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