The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of May 18, 2024

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
Overall: 43.5 cm (17 1/8 in.)
Location: not on view

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.
  • ?-1926
    Zoumpoulakis, sold to Brummer Gallery
    1926-1927
    Brummer Gallery, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    1927-
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Beazley Archive. n.d. Beazley Archive Pottery Database. Oxford: Beazley Archive. BAPD 761 www.beazley.ox.ac.uk
    The Brummer Gallery Records. Cloisters (Museum), n.d. P3582 libmma.contentdm.oclc.org
    Howard, Rossiter, "Two Greek Vases." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 14, no. 6 (1927): 99-101. www.jstor.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1928. Reproduced: p. 74 archive.org
    "Accessions." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 15, no. 2 (Feb. 1928): 35-37. www.jstor.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 26 archive.org
    Greater Cleveland Social Science Program. The Human Adventure, I: Ancient Civilization; Teachers' Guide. Grade Five. 1965. Vol. 1, p. 164
    Boulter, C. G., Jenifer Neils, and Gisela Walberg. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1971. p. 11, Pls. 15-16 www.beazley.ox.ac.uk
    Finkenstaedt, Elizabeth. "Mycenaean Mourning Customs in Greek Painting." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 60, no. 2 (1973): 39-43. www.jstor.org
    Folsom, Robert Slade. Attic Black-Figured Pottery. Park Ridge, N.J.: Noyes Press, 1975. pl. 34
    Immerwahr, Henry R. A Corpus of Attic Vase Inscriptions (CAVI). [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified], 1998. no. 3201, p. 790
    Pedrina, Marta. I gesti del dolore nella ceramica attica (VI-V secolo a.C.): per un'analisi della comunicazione non verbale nel mondo greco. Venezia: Istituto veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti, 2001. fig. 46, p. 269.
  • Exhibition of the Month: Components of Art: The Line. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 12-April 12, 1948).
    The Silver Jubilee Exhibition. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (June 23-September 28, 1941).
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Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1927.145