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Tomb Lekythos

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The lekythos is made of white, fine grained marble. The neck is missing, and the foot is new in plaster. Traces of the original painted decorations on the neck are still visible to the naked eye. On the painted areas the pigments have protected the surface, leaving it bleached compared to the rest of the weathered surface. The lekythos has been examined with Visible Induces Luminescence but the results showed no indication of the use of Egyptian blue in the original colouring.

A reconstruction has been made by Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, which is on display at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

Description of object

On a roughly cut baseline the three figure-composition is rendered in low relief. In the middle a young woman is seen leaning back on a bed with pillows, her feet on a stool. She wears a chiton and peplos and a mantle and her hair is drawn up over her forehead. She is supported by a woman standing behind her, and in front of her a little girl, hiding her face behind her raised right arm in grief, holds the hand of the swooning woman. The little maid is wearing a high-waisted, long-sleeved garment. This lekythos has preserved a great deal of the original ornamentation. Though the colours have disappeared, the differences in wear of the surface, where the painted areas were more protected, show a fine metope frieze with meanders and stars below the relief, traces of an egg-and-dart moulding along the edge of the shoulder, and exquisite floral motifs on the shoulder: acanthus leaves, tendrils and flowers. On the side of the belly is a deep hole.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic

Technical imaging

  • VIL

Technical imaging

VIL: The lekythos was examined using VIL, but there was no indication of the use of Egyptian blue.


F. Poulsen 1951, Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. No. 226a.

M. Moltesen 1995, Catalogue. Greece in the Classical Period. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. No. 66.

U. Koch-Brinkmann & R. Posamentir 2003, Ornament und Malerei einer attischen Grablekythos (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Kopenhagen), in Brinkmann, Vinzenz and Wünsche, Raimund (eds.), Bunte Götter. Die Farbigkeit antiker Skulptur, München 2003, 157-165.

  • IN 2564
  • Statue
  • c. 330 B.C.E.
  • Classical
  • White marble
  • Bought in 1910 in Paris.
  • H. 1.12 cm.

Selected photos

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