Corinthian votive tablet (Pinax), about 575-550 b.C.

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Corinthian votive tablet (Pinax), about 575-550 b.C.

Corinthian votive tablet (Pinax), about 575-550 b.C.

Title and date Corinthian votive tablet (Pinax), about 575-550 b.C.
Author Unknown (or Korinthios)
Technique Painting on tablet
Theme Sacrifice to deity

Only a few paintings on wooden tablets have been preserved from antiquity. Among them, particularly interesting is the votive tablet called Pinax, found in a cave under crystalline- calcareous deposits, which kept it nearly intact. It is a wooden tablet covered with a cream-coloured slip, a kind of plaster melted in the glue, on which the scene is painted. The author is supposed to be the Greek artist Korinthios.

This family life scene shows a procession for the ritual sacrifice of a lamb, tied to a red rope,
to three deities. While the figure outlines are black and precise, the figures themselves are of light and flat colours. There is no perspective except for the attempt of drawing the folds of their clothes.
On the right there is a rectangular altar where a flame is burning and a woman, with a jug in her right hand and a tray with other little vessels on her head, is approaching to. She has got short hair and is wearing a red cloak and a light blue doric dress tied at the waist and decorated by white stripes on the hips and on the neckline.
Behind her, a child is leading the lamb and two musicians with a flute and a seven string lyre are standing. The two young musicians are wearing a crown of leafy branches on their heads and a typical Greek dress called “himation”. Other two girls, dressed in the same way of the first one, but with long hair and crowns on their heads, are carrying palm branches in their hands.
On the left, another woman is depicted, maybe the girls’ mother.
This votive tablet bears inscriptions providing us with the names of the represented figures and also with a dedication preceded by the name of the person who made the offering, which is lost.
The inscriptions are painted in the Corinthian alphabet.

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