Friday, March 20, 2009

Art File: Greek Woman Getting Dressed

This week's art files will be on:
Women Portrayed in Greek Vase Painting
(an extra long week: Friday 3/20 - Sunday 3/29)

Woman Getting Dressed

Met #: 30.11.8
Greek, Attic, Red-figure
Terracotta squat lekythos
Circa 430 BC
Attributed to the Eretria Painter

Biography: The Eretria Painter
(From the Getty Museum)

"Working in Athens, the Eretria Painter decorated vases in the red-figure technique from around 440 to 410 B.C. Over half of the almost 150 vases that scholars attribute to him are cups, but his finest work is on small pots such as oinochoai and lekythoi.

The Eretria Painter decorated numerous vases with conventional mythological and athletic scenes, but he also painted more innovative imagery that foreshadowed later major trends. These less common motifs included bridal imagery, personifications, and scenes of women.

As with most ancient artists, the actual name of the Eretria Painter is unknown; he is identified only by the stylistic traits of his work. He takes his name from a vase found at the site of Eretria, now in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens."

This Lekythos

This scene, in which a nude woman dresses herself, gives the viewer an intimate look at the beauty and dress preparations undertaken by young Greek women. She has already bound her hair with a filet (circlet for the hair) and adorned her ears with earrings and her thigh with a thigh band. When we see her, at this fleeting moment, she is in the process of lifting her chiton (linen dress) from a stool before donning it. On the floor behind the young woman is a plemochoe (a vase containing perfumed oil).

For more information on Ancient Greek dress, please see the Met's essay on the subject.

1 comment:

  1. Do you know the average sizes for vases of this time period?

    Thank you- Lindzy