The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Red-Figure Bilingual Cup Type A

Object Details


Attic Red-Figure Bilingual Cup Type A


Attributed to Oltos (Greek (Attic), active about 525 - 500 B.C.)
and Hischylos


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place Created)


about 515 B.C.



Object Number:



13 × 41.5 × 32.4 cm (5 1/8 × 16 5/16 × 12 3/4 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

The running figure painted in the black-figure tondo of this cup has no distinguishing attributes to aid identification. He is nude, except for a mantle thrown over his left shoulder and right arm. Touches of added red, an old-fashioned motif used in black-figure and characteristic of Oltos, embellish alternate folds of the mantle, as well as sections of the man's hair and beard.

Both sides of the red-figure exterior are decorated with a pair of upright palmettes that frame a pair of eyes. Added red is used for the pupils, and the brows are rendered in red-figure. Between the eyes on side A, a youth walks to the left. He is entirely nude except for a purplish added-red wreath around his head. At the same point on side B is a stylized nose.

Bilingual vases began to be produced in Athens around 525 B.C. They combine the two primary Athenian vase-decoration techniques: the older technique of black-figure, and red-figure, the technique that would gain popularity and continue to be used through the fourth century B.C. On a black-figure vase, silhouettes in black gloss are contrasted against the red-orange clay of the vessel. On a red-figure vase, the forms come from the red-orange color of the clay, and the space around them is filled in with black gloss.  The vase-painter Oltos specialized in the decoration of bilingual and red-figure cups. His name is known from vases, and like most of his late bilingual eye-cups, the black-figure tondo on this cup bears the inscription, "Memnon is fine."

1962 - 1983

Walter Bareiss, American, born Germany, 1919 - 2007 and Molly Bareiss, American, 1920 - 2006 (Stamford, Connecticut), distributed to the Mary Bareiss 1983 Trust, 1983.

1983 - 1986

Mary S. Bareiss 1983 Trust, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986.

Greek Vases and Modern Drawings from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Walter Bareiss (June 13 to October 5, 1969)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), June 13 to October 5, 1969
Greek Vases at Yale (November 19, 1975 to January 18, 1976)
  • Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven), November 19, 1975 to January 18, 1976
The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases (June 8 to September 4, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), June 8 to September 4, 2006
Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique (November 2, 2011 to May 20, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), November 2, 2011 to January 16, 2012
  • Musee Picasso (Antibes), February 16 to May 20, 2012

Beazley, J. D. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters. 2nd ed. Oxford: 1963, pp. 1621, 1623, nos. 79, 20 bis.

Bothmer, Dietrich von. "Aspects of a Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (June 1969). pp. 424-436, p. 427; figs. 6 and 7.

Bothmer, Dietrich von, and J. Bean. Greek Vases and Modern Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss. Exh. checklist, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: 1969, p. 6, no. 70.

Matheson, Susan Burke, and J. Jerome Pollitt. Greek Vases at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1975), pp. 44-45, no. 41, ill.

Cohen, Beth. Attic Bilingual Vases and Their Painters. New York and London: 1978, p. 385, cat. no. B 75; pl. 88.

True, Marion, and Jiri Frel. Greek Vases: Molly and Walter Bareiss Collection (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), p. 40, no. 26, fig. 26; p. 78, no. 143.

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

Beazley Addenda: Additional References to ABV, ARV2, and Paralipomena. 2nd ed. Compiled by T. Carpenter with T. Mannack and M. Mendonca. Oxford: 1989, pp. 159 and 164.

Harnecker, Joachim. Oltos: Untersuchungen zu Themenwahl und Stil eines fruehrotfigurigen Schalenmalers. Europaeische Hochschulschriften. Reihe 38, Archaeologie 18. Frankfurt: 1991, pp. 71, 226, no. 50.

Moore, Mary B. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. The J. Paul Getty Museum 8 (USA 33). (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998), p. 8, no. 11; pls. 392-393.

Paleothodoros, Dimitri. Epictetos, Collection D'Etudes Classiques. (Louvain, Namur, Paris and Dudley, MA: Editions Peeters/Societe Des Etudes Classiques, 2004), vol.18, p. 10.

Cohen, Beth, ed. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006), pp. 13-14, fig. 6 (detail), pp. 36-37, cat. no. 4, figs. 4.1-4.3.

Green, Christopher, and Jens M. Daehner. Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Leger, and Picabia (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), 45, 152, no. 4; pl. 5.