Corinthian Alabastron (Oil Flask)Archaic
625 BCE - 600 BCE
3 15/16 x 2 3/16 x 2 3/16 in. (10 x 5.5 x 5.6 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: P.37
Geography: Europe, Greece, Corinth
Classification: Containers and Vessels; Vessels; Alabastra
This object has the following keywords:
alabastra*, Animalia*, Black-figure*, Corinthian*, Cygnus*, incising*, Panthera leo*, toilettes*, vase paintings*
- alabastra - Small ancient Greek or Roman vessels for holding oils, ointments, or perfumes; usually elongated in form, almost cylindrical, and rounded at the bottom. Some footed examples also exist. They either have no handles or one small handle at the side. Alabastra are small enough to be held in one hand or it could be carried by a string looped around its narrow neck or passed through smal lugs on the shoulder. The shape originated in Egypt, where it was made in glass, faience, or alabaster (it takes its name from this stone).
- Animalia - Kingdom containing multicellular organisms having cells bound by a plasma membrane and organized into tissue and specialized tissue systems that permit them to either move about in search of food or to draw food toward themselves. Unable to make their own food within themselves, as photosynthetic plants do, they rely on consuming preformed food. They possess a nervous system with sensory and motor nerves, enabling them to receive environmental stimuli and to respond with specialized movements.
- Black-figure - Refers to a style of Greek vase painting that developed from the Geometric and Orientalizing styles. It appeared in Corinth around 720 BCE, flourished in Attica by 600 BCE, and was found in Sparta, eastern Greece, and elsewhere, until the Red-figure style gradually replaced it in the late sixth century BCE. The style is characterized by a particular technique, which is characterized by the use of a refined slip, a two-stage firing process, and sintering to create black figures in silhouette on a red ground. Details were incised into the black figures or applied in purple or white pigment.
- Corinthian - Refers to a pottery style created in the city and region of Corinth in the Peloponnese in south-central Greece, and exported extensively in other parts of Greece, Italy, and Egypt, particularly in the second half of the seventh century BCE and the first half of the sixth century BCE. It is characterized by large vessels and bold decoration arranged in friezes covering most of the surface. Designs are in black-figure on a light terra-cotta background, with red, white, and incised additions. Motifs may have been inspired by Eastern textiles and typically include animals, monsters, or human figures, with ornaments such as dots, leaves, or rosettes scattered over the background.
- Cygnus - Members of the genus containing several living species and at least 10 extinct species of large waterfowl characterized by long-necks, heavy-bodies, large feet, graceful swimming style, and flying with slow wingbeats and with necks outstretched. Many swans are white. Swans are revered in many religions and cultures, especially Hinduism. They are common symbols in art around the world.
- incising - The process and technique of producing, forming, or tracing a pattern, text, or other usually linear motif by cutting, carving, or engraving.
- Panthera leo - Large, powerful species of cat that is well-muscled, with a large head, short legs, size and appearance that varies considerably between the sexes, and is unique among the cats in living in family groups or prides. In the Pleistocene, lions were the most widespread large land mammals, ranging throughout Eurasia, Africa, and North America. Today listed as Vulnerable, remaining only in fragmented populations remain in Sub-Saharan Africa and western India.
- toilettes - Term applied to a variety of French dressing tables designed for women.
- vase paintings - Refers to two-dimensional decoration applied to pottery by using paint made of metallic oxides or other pigments held in suspension in slip or another medium. The term is particularly used to refer to Ancient Greek red- and black-figure works. See also "porcelain paintings (visual works)."
Owner Name: Mary Hamilton Swindler, PhD 1912, Professor of Archaeology
Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Acquisition Method: Purchased in Paris
Disposal Method: Donation
Ownership Start Date: Before 1967
Ownership End Date: Before 1967
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