Skip to Content

To best protect the health and safety of our community, the museum is temporarily closed. Learn more.

Loutrophoros (Container for Bath Water)

A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique.


350-340 BCE


Attributed to the Varrese Painter
Greek; Apulia, Italy

About this artwork

The type of tall, cylindrical vessel with spiraling handles shown here was made only in Apulia. Lavishly decorated, its purpose was to hold water for ritual bathing before marriage. Its body is divided into two zones, each featuring four beautifully clothed, coiffed and bejeweled women, alternately standing and sitting as they chat with a companion. Such vases were also placed in the tombs of unmarried girls to mark their union with Hades, god of the underworld. This vase might have served that such a purpose, since the reverse depicts a woman within a funerary naiskos, or temple-like structure. Seated and standing females bear gifts and offerings.

On View

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151


Ancient Greek


Loutrophoros (Container for Bath Water)




350 BCE–340 BCE


Terracotta, decorated in the red-figure technique


88 × 37.5 × 26 cm (34 3/4 × 14 3/4 × 10 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions