Monday, March 23, 2009

Art File: Woman At The Laver

Woman At The Laver

Met #: 1986.322.1
Greek, Attic, Red-figure
Kylix (drinking cup)
Circa 500 BC
Attributed to Douris
Interior: Woman washing clothes
Exterior: Athletes (not shown)

From the Met's label:

"The interior presents a lovely picture of a young woman at a laver. By her feet stands a bail amphora in which water was carried. She has her hair in a sakkos (snood) and wears a chiton that shows off the painter's skill in drawing and handling dilute glaze.

The skyphos (deep drinking cup) and wineskin on the wall subtly introduce the symposium at which this [kylix] was used and in which the youths on the exterior would soon participate."

Biography of Douris (from the Getty Museum):

"Active:500 B.C. - 460 B.C. Athens
vase-painter; potter

One of the most prolific vase-painters known, Douris worked as a vase-painter and occasionally as a potter in Athens in the early 400s B.C. He is known from almost forty signed vases, two of which he also potted. Altogether, almost three hundred vases have been attributed to him. Given that scholars estimate a less than 0.5% survival rate for Greek vases, Douris may have decorated about 78,000 vases in his career.

Douris primarily decorated red-figure cups, but he also painted a few vessels of other forms and in other techniques, including white-ground. His scenes are about evenly divided between mythology and depictions of everyday life.

He worked with a number of potters, including Kleophrades and Euphronios, but he seems to have had a regular collaboration with Python. Onesimos depicted a cup signed by Douris on one of his vases, and there is even an ancient forgery of Douris's signature. These unusual references attest to Douris's significant influence among contemporary vase-painters."

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