The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Red-Figure Cup

Object Details


Attic Red-Figure Cup


Epiktetos (Greek (Attic), active about 520 - 490 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place Created)


about 510 B.C.



Object Number:



7.8 × 25.3 × 18 cm (3 1/16 × 9 15/16 × 7 1/16 in.)

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Object Description

Reclining on a couch, a balding man tilts his head back and sings, accompanying himself on the lyre. Several features of the scene, such as the couch, the pillow, and especially the wreath the man wears, reveal that he is a participant at a symposion or drinking party. Many Greek vases, especially elaborate cups, were designed for use at such parties. Therefore, vase‑painters frequently decorated these vessels with scenes of revelry and drinking. 

The circular area or tondo on the interior of a cup often presented challenges for Greek vase‑painters. Some drew a line across the circle to create an artificial ground‑line for their figures, and on this vase, the line across the circle suggests the man's couch. The edge of the man's mantle slipping down behind and below this line creates an impression of depth and space. The vase-painter also used the circular frame of the tondo as part of the composition: it supports the man's pillow, and he props his foot on it.

by 1969 - 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, 1983.

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
Transforming Tradition: Ancient Motifs in Medieval Manuscripts (September 23 to November 30, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 23 to November 30, 2003

Bothmer, Dietrich von, and J. Bean. Greek Vases and Modern Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss. Exh. checklist. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969), p. 6, no. 71.

Beazley, J. D. Paralipomena. Additions to Attic Black-figure Vase-painters and to Attic Red-figure Vase-painters. 2nd ed. Oxford: 1971, p. 329, 83 ter.

True, Marion, and Jiri Frel. Greek Vases: Molly and Walter Bareiss Collection (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), p. 43, no. 29, fig. 29; p. 78, no. 145.

"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, p. 168.

Immerwahr, Henry. Attic Script: A Survey. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 62, no. 350.

Moore, Mary B. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. The J. Paul Getty Museum 8 (USA 33). (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998), p. 13, no. 17; fig. 7; pl. 398.

Paleothodoros, Dimitri. Epictetos, Collection D'Etudes Classiques. (Louvain, Namur, Paris and Dudley, MA: Editions Peeters/Societe Des Etudes Classiques, 2004), vol.18, (no 113): pl. XXXIII.3, pp. 31, 33, 98, 116, 163.

Anderson, Peter. "A Verse-Scrap on a Kylix by Epiktetos." TAPA 135.2 (2005), 267-277, , 267-277.

McNiven, T., "The View from Behind the Kline: Symposial Space and Beyond". In Athenian Potters and Painters III. John. H. Oakley, ed. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2014, 132, footnote 22.

Goulaki-Voutyra, Alexandra. "Singing to the Lyra or the Auloi." In Tra Lyra e Aulos: Tradizioni musicali e generi poetici, Luigi Bravi et al., eds. (Pisa: Fabrizio Serra editore, 2016), pp. 367-8, 371, fig. 1.