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Exaleiptron with Peleus and Thetis (?)
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Exaleiptron with Peleus and Thetis (?)

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This curiously shaped vessel is an exaleiptron, a small vessel distinguished by its squat foot and shallow bowl. Exaleiptra take various forms, some with more pronounced feet and others with handles. The form of this vase, the rim curving inward into a deep cylindrical "chimney," mostly likely to help prevent spills, suggests that it held liquids; several white-ground lekythoi depict funerary scenes in which exaleiptra are either carried by women toward the tomb or resting beside it. They likely held oils or perfumes that would have been offered to the deceased. Between one of the centaurs and one of the women, a man appears to be seizing a woman, one arm raised as he grasps her wrist with the other. One scholar has suggested that this is an early representation of Odysseus and Nausikaa, but it is more likely that the two figures are Peleus and Thetis and that this vase depicts the moment when the mortal Peleus, having pursued the Nereid Thetis, captures her.
Date Description Narrative
11/08/1990Loan Considerationexamined for loan
6/10/2008Treatmentcleaned; repaired; loss compensation
  • The Odyssey and Ancient Art. Edith C. Blum Art Institute, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 1991-1992.
  • 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 Joseph Brummer, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1925

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mid 6th century BCE (Archaic)
terracotta, wheel made; black figure
Accession Number
H: 3 3/4 x Diam: 8 in. (9.5 x 20.3 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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