Attic Red-Figure Cup

Object Details


Attic Red-Figure Cup


Attributed to Brygos Painter (Greek (Attic), active about 490 - 470 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place created)


about 480 B.C.




9.2 x 30.2 x 23 cm (3 5/8 x 11 7/8 x 9 1/16 in.)

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A youth stands before an altar on the interior of this red-figure kylix or cup. The lyre in one hand and the phorbeia, a face-strap used by flute players, that he holds over the altar identify him as a musician. The act of offering gifts to the gods was an essential element of Greek religion. Although pious worshippers could give animal sacrifices, libations or liquid offerings, or elaborate, expensive gifts, the gods also appreciated small items of great personal importance. Greeks made such offerings when praying for something to occur or in thanks for a good outcome. This scene may represent a youth asking for, or giving thanks for, a victory in one of the frequent musical contests in which well-bred Athenian young men competed.

Although the depiction of a religious ritual on a cup used at a drinking party may seem odd today, the Greeks saw no conflict in this. For the Greeks, the drinking and merriment of the symposion was itself an offering to Dionysos, the god of wine.

- 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.

Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (August 23, 2003 to December 5, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004

True, Marion, and Jiri Frel. Greek Vases. Molly and Walter Bareiss Collection. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Malibu: 1983. p. 79, no. 154.

"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: 1998. p. 37, no. 52; fig. 15; pl. 423.

Neils, Jenifer and John H. Oakley, eds. Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, exh. cat. (Hanover, NH: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College) p. 290.