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About This Artwork
Alabastron (Container for Oil), 520-500 B.C.
Terracotta, black-figure technique
16.2 x 6 x 6 cm (6 3/8 x 2 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.)
Gift of Martin A. Ryerson through The Antiquarian Society, 1907.11
Vessels of this shape were made over the course of hundreds of years and from a variety of materials. The shape may have originated in Egypt and taken its name from the word alabaster, but it was readily replicated in other materials, including terracotta and glass. The broad rim functioned as an applicator for spreading its contents.
—Permanent collection label
The Art Institute of Chicago, Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151, November 11, 2012 - present.