On one side, Herakles steps forward, sword in hand, grasping the head of a the large bearded man before him, most likely Alkyoneus, who falls back onto a rock. The hero’s club leans diagonally below. On the other side is a similar scene, but the aggressor is an unidentifiable Greek warrior, fully armed, thrusting a spear. Above the victim, who turns his head away, flies a diminutive winged male, most likely an eidolon, a representation of the psyche of the deceased. Eidola represent the undying individual personality of the deceased that separate from the body after death (see p. 212 in J.H. Oakley, Picturing Death in Classical Athens). For the scenes, compare the oinochoe in Munich, no. 36.2 in R. Wünsche, et al., Herakles – Hercules.
The Edinburgh Painter takes his name from a lekythos in the National Museum of Scotland. He was primarily a painter of lekythoi, but also some other smaller hydriae and amphorae, and occasionally full-sized amphorae. His style is derived from the Leagros Group, and he is credited with being the first to use white ground for the body of his lekythoi, which would become the standard going forward for painters of finer lekythoi (see p. 147 in J. Boardman, Athenian Black Figure Vases).