Attributed to the Nikon Painter
Terracotta; H. 15 in. (38.1 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Pomerance, 1953 (53.224)
This red-figure lekythos features Apollo, the youthful god of music, prophecy, and healing. He is depicted with his well-known attribute, the kithara, an instrument of his own invention. Music was present at all festivals celebrated in honor of Apollo, where choruses of boys and girls competed for voice and lyre, voice and flute, and solo flute.
The palm tree on this vase refers to the birthplace of Apollo on the island of Delos. Ancient literary references describe that he was borne by Leto under the fronds of a date palm tree. The ancient Greeks consecrated Delos as one of Apollo's most important sanctuaries, the other being at Delphi on the Greek mainland.