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Oil Jar with a Young Man Arming
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Attributed to Douris
Greek, Athens, about 490 B.C.
Terracotta
13 3/16 x 4 15/16 in.
84.AE.770

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On this Athenian white-ground lekythos attributed to Douris, two young warriors put on their armor, assisted by a woman and a young boy. The main lines of the bodies and clothing are drawn in black glaze, and the rest of the drawing is rendered with a brownish line made from diluted glaze. The words written between the figures are kalos inscriptions, praising Athenian youths. Large, white-ground lekythoi with outline drawing like this one are unusual in the early 400s B.C., yet three such lekythoi can be attributed to Douris.

In the late 500s B.C., Athenian potters began to paint over the natural reddish color of their pottery with a highly purified clay that turned white when fired. Initially artists applied this technique to a variety of shapes. However, because the white slip was rather fragile, by the mid- 400s B.C. artists limited the use of this technique to leykthoi used in funerary ritual.


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