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Aryballos with a Lion
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Aryballos with a Lion

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Facing to the right on this small aryballos is a lion in profile, its mouth open wide, surrounded by rosettes of different sizes. The lion's facial features, mane and musculature are enhanced by extensive incised details. Aryballoi were used by athletes to hold oil that was rubbed onto the body before exercise or competition (Miller 2004, 14-15). They often appear hanging by a small strap from athlete's wrist in gymnasium scenes. In addition to this practical function, they were also a popular grave good and would have been a suitable votive offering in a hero sanctuary (Payne 1931, 290E).
Date Description Narrative
  • In Search of Ancient Treasure: 40 Years of Collecting. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1978.
  • Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; San Diego Museum Of Art, San Diego; Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), New York. 2009-2011.
Provenance E.S. David [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1957, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1957

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ca. 625 BC
Accession Number
H: 2 11/16 x Diam: 2 5/8 in. (6.8 x 6.67 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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