Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Vladimir Naikhin
Aryballos (oil and perfume bottle) decorated with a nude man, a swan, and a lizard
Greece
Archaic period, Early Corinthian style, ca. 600 BC
Pottery
Gift of Claire Huchet-Bishop, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, in memory of Dr. Arthur Briskier
Accession number: 79.23.46
 
 
Swans were sacred to Apollo and one of Aphrodite’s attributes. They also connoted love and fidelity, since these lovely birds are known to mate for life. In fact, Zeus assumed the shape of a swan when he courted Leda. Lizards, predators of pests, were also related to Apollo.


Exhibition:
Perfumes and Cosmetics in the Ancient World, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 12/11/1989 - 12/01/1994
Sports and Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Ruth Youth Wing, 01/03/2004 - 28/02/2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir