Red-figure loutrophoros

The ‘loutrophoros’ was a luxurious type of vessel associated with wedding ceremonies. According to ancient sources, it was used for carrying water for the nuptial bath of the bride. It was also offered as a gift in graves of unmarried men and women.

The Canellopoulos Museum loutrophoros depicts a funerary scene. Five women stand around a stepped grave stele. The artist attempts to render the three-dimensional space by drawing the legs of the figures who stand on either side of the monument as being in front of and behind the steps. The figure on the left carries a loutrophoros, which will be soon placed in the grave. The other women make gestures of lamentation: the second to the left and the first to the right of the stele raise their arms, while the second to the right tears her hair with both hands. All women have short hair, which indicates a state of mourning. A female and a male figure are depicted on the neck.

Originally, the grave stele and the loutrophoros carried by a woman were decorated with coloured fillets. The colours are now lost, and we can see only their faint imprints.

– Zarkadas Α. 2006. Cat. no. 83, in Choremi-Spetsieri Α. – Zarkadas Α. (eds), The Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum. Ancient Art, Athens, 130-131.
– Zarkadas Α. 2014. ‘Red-figure loutrophoros-amphora’, in Stampolidis Ν. – Oikonomou Σ. (eds), Beyond. Death and Afterlife in Ancient Greece, Athens, 90-91, cat. no. 31.