The Centauromachy is the subject of this well-preserved lekythos. To the left, a centaur wielding a branch advances towards a Lapith warrior, who defends himself with a shield and spear. The centaur is bleeding from his left arm and foreleg. Between them a wounded warrior has fallen, supporting himself on his shield and bleeding from his chest while the battle rages on. In the field are nonsense inscriptions.
The Athena Painter worked mainly on lekythoi and oinochoai, frequently on a white ground, as here. His modern name is the result of the frequency of the appearance of the goddess Athena on his vases. The similarities of his work to that of the red-figure artist the Bowdoin Painter has led some to consider them the same, but it may be simply that both came from the same workshop (see pp. 15-16 in D.C. Kurtz, Athenian White Lekythoi). In addition to depictions of the goddess, the Athena Painter also favored the Centauromachy, as seen on at least six other lekythoi in addition to the present example.