The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Red-Figure Cup Type A

Object Details


Attic Red-Figure Cup Type A


Psiax (Greek (Attic), active about 525 - 510 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place Created)


about 520 B.C.



Object Number:



11 × 27.5 cm (4 5/16 × 10 13/16 in.)

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Object Description

Psiax has been called an experimenter because of his work in many different varieties of vase decoration during the late sixth century B.C. This red-figure cup may be the first preserved example of a cup with a figural frieze on the outside instead of an eye-cup scheme, as in the Brygos Painter's Wine Cup with the Suicide of Ajax.

On both on the interior and the exterior of the cup, Psiax painted erotically charged encounters between youths and men, and males and females. What makes this vase different is that he used incision and added-white in his red-figure technique as well as added-red colors. On this cup, these techniques are joined by an extensive use of added-clay relief. Thus, the lyre on side A has arms and a cross-piece painted in added color, much of which has flaked off, incised strings, and a raised sound box added in clay (now chipped). The leftmost youth sits on a camp stool which the artist added in clay relief. It has white hinges and is topped by what was once a red cushion. The surface of what was once apparently a brightly colored vase, perhaps enhanced with gilding, is now the beige color of the clay.

by 1977 - 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, 1986.

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

Mertens, Joan R. "Some New Vases by Psiax," Antike Kunst 22 (1979), pp. 22-37, pp. 30-34; pl. 11.

Bothmer, Dietrich von. "Notes on Makron." The Eye of Greece. Studies in the Art of Athens. D. Kurtz and B. Sparkes, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. pp. 29-52, p. 45.

True, Marion, and Jiri Frel. Greek Vases: Molly and Walter Bareiss Collection (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), p. 30, no. 18, fig. 18; p. 78, no. 142.

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

Moore, Mary B. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. The J. Paul Getty Museum 8 (USA 33). (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998), pp. 10-11, no. 13; fig. 5; pls. 394, 3-6; 395.

Cohen, Beth. "Bubbles = Baubles, Bangles and beads: Added Clay in Athenian Vase Painting and Its Significance." In Greek Vases: Images, Contexts, and Controversies. Clemente Marconi, ed. (Leiden: Brill, 2004), pp. 60-61, fig. 5.7.

Paleothodoros, Dimitri. Epictetos, Collection D'Etudes Classiques. (Louvain, Namur, Paris and Dudley, MA: Editions Peeters/Societe Des Etudes Classiques, 2004), vol.18, p. 60.

Cohen, Beth, ed. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006), pp. 120-21, cat. no. 28, fig. 28.

Franceschini, Mariachiara. Attische Mantelfiguren: Relevanz eines standardisierten Motivs der rotfigurigen Vasenmalerei. Zürcher Archäologische Forschungen 5. (Rahden/Westf.: VML Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH, 2018), pl. 12.c-d.