Askos (oil flask)

490–480 BCEAttributed to Makronterracotta, red-figure2 7/16 in. × 3 1/4 in. (6.2 cm. × 8.2 cm.)

Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Esq., Honorary Degree 1926


This askos, a container for oils, is one of the Museum’s finest examples of red-figure painting. The vessel features a depiction of two nude men in flight with their wings spread open. Makron’s exceptional artistry is clearly visible in the portrayal of these wings as each of the many feathers is delicate and detailed. There is a sense of balance established by the symmetry of the figures; each has his head toward the spout of the askos, with their feet near the opposite end of the handle. The figures have been portrayed with thin, delicate lines that accentuate the soft, natural curves of the male body. 

This askos is one of nearly 350 objects attributed to the vase painter Makron. Although many Greek vessels typically lack details about craftsmen or workshops, Makron’s collaboration is both known and unique: most of the terracotta works he painted were created by the potter Hieron. Makron vessels can also be found in the collections of the British Museum, the Getty Villa, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Warren was the purchasing agent for several of the Makron works that entered the MFA. The iconography of this object likely appealed to Edward Perry Warren and his appreciation of the aesthetics of the male body. Many of his terracotta vases or vessel fragments depict nude or semi-nude males, including athletes such as those on the Bowdoin Eye Painter Attic red-figure eye cup.

—Brooke Wrubel


Before 1923, collection of Edward Perry Warren; 1923, gifted to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art by Edward Perry Warren.

Edward Perry Warren

A testament to his impact as an influential twentieth-century American antiquities collector, Edward Perry Warren’s (1860–1928, H ’26) name is linked to hundreds of ancient objects housed in institutions across the United States, including more than five hundred works at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art alone.

Region: Greece See all 24
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