Attic Black-Figure Neck Amphora

Object Details


Attic Black-Figure Neck Amphora


Connected with the Class of Cabinet des Médailles 218 (Greek)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece, Europe (Place created)


about 500 - 480 B.C.




23.4 × 15.5 cm (9 3/16 × 6 1/8 in.)

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In the epic poem, the Iliad, the greatest heroes of the Trojan War demonstrated their strength and courage in single, hand-to-hand combat. A Greek hero, like Achilles or Ajax, was matched against one from the Trojan side. This neck-amphora depicts two such combats. On the front of the vase, a warrior closes in from the left on his collapsing enemy, who attempts to raise his shield and protect himself. The back of the vase depicts a similar scene but with the positions reversed. Since these combat scenes have no inscriptions, they can not be specifically identified, but are of a general heroic nature.

In the early 400s B.C., although most vase-painters now worked in the recently invented red-figure technique, some painters continued to work in black-figure. In the changed pottery market, they sought ways to make their product more interesting. One method used by these late black-figure painters was to cover the normal reddish color of the clay background with a creamy white slip, as seen here. This white slip created a sharper contrast between the figures and the background.


Private Collection [sold, Auktion 56: Kunstwerke der Antike, Munzen und Medaillen, February 19, 1980, lot 81, to Walter and Molly Bareiss.]

1980 - 1983

Walter Bareiss, American, born Germany, 1919 - 2007


and Molly Bareiss, American, 1920 - 2006 (Stamford, Connecticut), distributed to the Mary S. Bareiss 1983 Trust, 1983.

1983 - 1986

Mary S. Bareiss 1983 Trust, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Poets and Heroes (November 4, 1986 to February 28, 1987)
  • Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University (Atlanta), November 4, 1986 to February 28, 1987

Munzen und Medaillen, Basel. Auktion 56, February 19, 1980, lot 81; pl. 32.

True, Marion, and Jiri Frel. Greek Vases: Molly and Walter Bareiss Collection (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), p. 70, no. 40.

Wescoat, Bonna D., ed. Poets and Heroes: Scenes of the Trojan War. Exh. cat, Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology. Atlanta: 1986, pp. 30-31, no. 6; ill. p. 31.

"Acquisitions/1986." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 15 (1987), pp. 160-61, no. 7.

Clark, Andrew J. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. The J. Paul Getty Museum 1 (USA 23). Malibu: 1988, p. 46; pls. 42, 1-2; 44, 5-6.

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Historical Witness, Social Messaging

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