The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Black-Figure Neck Amphora

Object Details


Attic Black-Figure Neck Amphora


Attributed to Group E (Workshop of Exekias) (Greek (Attic), active 560 - 540 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place Created)


about 550 B.C.



Object Number:



35.4 × 28.1 cm (13 15/16 × 11 1/16 in.)

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Object Description

Scenes of combat decorate this Athenian black-figure neck-amphora. On the front of the vase, the Greek hero Theseus battles the Minotaur. This monster, with a bull's head and a human body, lived in a labyrinth on the island of Crete and devoured human sacrifices sent as tribute from Athens. The hero has just stabbed the beast with his sword, and blood streams from the wound. A youth and a girl - representatives of the fourteen youths and maidens saved from sacrifice by Theseus's victory over the monster - stand at each side watching.

The heroic combat on the front is complemented by a scene of mortal warriors on the back of the vase. Two hoplites, or heavily armed soldiers, face off with spears raised, between onlookers, a man and a woman. The woman holds a wreath for the victor. Running beneath the warriors is a mock inscription, the letters scarcely legible.

by 1970 - still in 1975

Private Collection (Lugano, Switzerland)

- 1985

Holger Termer (Frankfurt, Germany), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.


Beazley, J. D. Paralipomena. Additions to Attic Black-figure Vase-painters and to Attic Red-figure Vase-painters. 2nd ed. Oxford: 1971, p. 57, no. 63bis.

Boardman, John, and John Hayes. Excavations at Tocra, 1963-1965. The archaic deposits II and later deposits. (London: British School of Archaeology at Athens, 1973), p. 42n3.

Brommer, Frank. Vasenlisten zur griechischen Heldensage. 3rd ed. (Marburg: N. G. Elwert Verlag, 1973), p. 236, cat. A.f 10.

Patitucci, Uggeri S. "Una nuova anfora del Gruppe E in una collezione ticinese," Numismatica e Antichita Classiche 4 (1975), pp. 55-72, p. 59; fig. 1.

Jackson, D. A. East Greek Influence on Attic Vases. Supplmentary Paper no. XIII. (London: Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, 1976), p. 36.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 189, no. 32.

Beazley Addenda: Additional References to ABV, ARV2, and Paralipomena. 2nd ed. Compiled by T. Carpenter with T. Mannack and M. Mendonca. Oxford: 1989, p. 37, no. (137.63bis).

Woodford, Susan. "Kerkopes." In Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae VI (1992), pp. 32-35, p. 575, no. 10; pl. 317.

Giuman, Marco. Il fuso rovesciato: fenomenologia dell'amazzone tra archeologia, mito e storia nell'Atene del VI e del V secolo a.C. Ostraka/ Quaderni, 10. (Napoli: Loffredo, 2005), pp. 157-8, fig. 6.8.

Sacks, David. Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World (New York: Facts on File, 2005), p. 346, ill.

Mommsen, Heidi. "Die Botkin-Klasse." In Shapes and Uses of Greek Vases. Athena Tsingarida, ed. (Bruxelles: CReA-Patrimoine, 2009), 31-46, p. 37, plate 3.6.

Dietrich, Nikolaus. Figur ohne Raum? Bäume und Felsen in der attischen Vasenmalerei des 6. und 5. Jahrhunderts v.Chr. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010), pp. 319, 377, fig. 253.

Christidis, Maria. "Theseus, mehr als ein Nationalheld: zum kampanischen Lekanisdeckel der Universität Graz." Nikephoros: Zeitschrift für Sport und Kultur im Altertum 26 (2013), pp. 9, 392, pl. 2/1.

Oakley, John H. The Greek Vase: Art of the Storyteller (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013), back cover, pp. 70-72, fig. 9.