Attic Black-Figure Column Krater

Object Details

Title:

Attic Black-Figure Column Krater

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (Attic)

Place(s):

Athens, Greece (Place created)

Date:

second half of 6th century B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Dimensions:

33 x 35.5 x 30 cm (13 x 14 x 11 13/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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In the Greek epic poem the Odyssey , the hero Odysseus devised a clever ruse to escape from the man-eating, one-eyed giant Cyclops. First, Odysseus blinded the monster, then tied himself and his men to the undersides of the sheep in the giant's flock. The blinded Cyclops checked his sheep as he let them out to graze, but he only felt along their backs, so Odysseus and his men escaped. This Athenian black-figure column-krater depicts Odysseus bound under the ram, the leader of the flock. The scene is placed between a pair of apotropaic eyes, which appear sporadically on Athenian vases of the 500s B.C. The escape from the Cyclops was the most popular scene from the Odyssey depicted on Athenian vases. The back of the vase shows the goddess Nike between scenes of lions attacking bulls.

The Greeks produced a very strong wine, which they drank mixed with water. A krater was used as a mixing vessel to blend the wine and water before serving. The type of krater that scholars call a column-krater takes its name from the columnar appearance of the handle supports.

Provenance
by 1993 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman

and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Exhibitions
SICILY: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome (April 3, 2013 to June 15, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), April 3 to August 19, 2013, (Cat.)
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, (Cleveland), September 29, 2013 to January 5, 2014, (Cat.)
Bibliography

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Malibu: 1994. p. 356, cat. no. 289.

Andreae, Bernard, and Claudio Parisi Presicce, eds. Ulisse. Il mito e la memorie. Exh. cat., Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, February 22-September 2, 1996. Rome: 1996. p. 132, no. 2.23 (color photo).

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust, 1997-1998. p. 68.

Related Media
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    Audio: Attic Black-Figure Column Krater (Exhibit: CLASSICAL_SICILY)