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  • Oenochoe in the Form of a Woman's Head

    height: 27,7 cm

Oenochoe in the Form of a Woman's Head

Created: Attica. Late 6th century


Vessels in fancy shapes were common in ancient Greek ceramics. Such vases could be in the form of whole figures or simply the heads of people or animals. The idea behind them was partially inspired by metal objects, the clay being a cheaper imitation of more expensive materials. The vessels could be of varied purposes which determined the nature of the rim and handle. This vase is an oinochoe, a single-handed jug for wine with a trefoil-shaped rim. It was produced by a talented Attic potter named Charinos, whose signature can be read on the handle. The female head has very precisely modelled facial features, to which the raised eyebrows give an expression of surprise. The outer corners of the almond-shaped wide open eyes going up towards the temple, the lips enlivened by an archaic smile, the complex hairstyle consisting of several rows of decoratively treated locks - all these recall the appearance of the famous kore (female figures) from the Athenian Acropolis. The vase was created under the influence of late 6th-century BC monumental art. Charinos's skill makes this piece - the earliest shaped Greek vessel in the Hermitage - an outstanding example of Ancient Greek art.


Oenochoe in the Form of a Woman's Head




height: 27,7 cm

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