Olpe

Object Details

Title:

Olpe

Artist/Maker:
Culture:

Greek (Corinthian)

Place:

Corinth, Greece (Place created)

Date:

about 625 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Object Number:

85.AE.89

Dimensions:

32.8 × 17 cm (12 15/16 × 6 11/16 in.)

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A combination of floral and animal designs arranged in four registers decorates the body of this Corinthian black-figure olpe, or pitcher. The four superimposed friezes repeat many of the animals that form the Corinthian vase-painter’s standard repertoire: lions, panthers, goats, deer, bulls, boars, swans. Dot-rosettes surround and separate the animals. Both the creatures and the filling ornaments are carefully laid out and meticulously drawn. Individual animals are depicted as if slowly moving forward in their distinct rows, although not all move in the same direction. Certain details, such as the animals’ manes and underbellies or the birds’ wings, are highlighted with the use of added red paint.

Friezes of real and fantastic animals as well as the rosettes filling the spaces in the background are characteristic of Corinthian art. However, the style was strongly influenced by the art of the ancient Near East. In the 7th century B.C., Greeks came into closer contact with their neighbors in the Near East, where repetitive bands of animal decoration were common. At the same time, Corinthian vessels such as this olpe were widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean, and the distinctive design was closely copied in a number of local pottery workshops, particularly in Ithaca, Etruria, and South Italy.

Provenance
by 1982 - 1985

Robin Symes, Limited (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.

Exhibitions
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 188, no. 24.

Amyx, Darrell A. Corinthian Vase-Painting of the Archaic Period (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), p. 336, no. A-26ter.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 42.

Neeft, C. W. Addenda and Corrigenda to D. A. Amyx, Corinthian Vase-Painting in the Archaic Period (Amsterdam: Allard Pierson Museum, 1991), p. 27, no. A-44 (as possibly a mix-up with 85.AE.88).

Steinhart, Matthias. "Olpenfragment des Malers von Vatikan 73." In: Erika Simon und Mitarbeiter, "Nachrichten aus dem Martin von Wagner Museum." Archäologischer Anzeiger (no. 1, 1994), p. 11n20.

Towne Markus, Elana. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 28.

Onians, John. Classical Art and the Cultures of Greece and Rome (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 24-25, fig. 17.

Neeft, C. W. "What Is in a Name? The Painter of Vatican 73 in the Getty," Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum 6. Occasional Papers on Antiquities 9 (2000), pp. 1-34, p. 31, s.v. "Olpai, " cat. no. 3, and passim; figs. 4a-e.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 54.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 56.

Walter Karydi, Elena. "Shapes, colours, images: ventures of the Chigi Master and his Corinthian Contemporaries." In Eliana Mugione (ed.) L'olpe Chigi: storia di un agalma (Pandemos: Salerno, 2012), p.73, footnote 12.