Chalcidian Black-Figure Neck Amphora

Object Details


Chalcidian Black-Figure Neck Amphora


Attributed to the Inscription Painter (Greek, active 570 - 530 B.C.)


Greek (Chalcidian)


Rhegion, South Italy (Place created)


about 540 B.C.




39.6 × 24.9 cm (15 9/16 × 9 13/16 in.)

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The Greek hero Odysseus slits the throat of a Thracian warrior. On the other side of the vase, Diomedes grabs the sleeping Rhesos, king of the Thracians, just before plunging his sword into the chest of this Trojan ally. All three figures are identified by inscriptions. The nameless bodies of Rhesos's men, perhaps already killed in their sleep, litter the ground. As the story was recounted in book 10 of Homer's Iliad, Odysseus and Diomedes infiltrated the Thracian camp outside the walls of Troy, hoping to steal their fine horses. This vase is remarkably close to Homer's account, down to the display of armor and the Thracian horses who panic on their tethers under the handles.

When the Greeks began founding colonies in Italy and Sicily in the 600s B.C., they initially imported fine decorated pottery. Soon, however, local pottery workshops arose. Chalcidian pottery, one of these local productions in the black-figure technique, was probably made in the city of Rhegion, a colony of the Greek city of Chalkis.

by 1985 - 1996

Robin Symes, Limited (London, England), on behalf of Mrs. Despina Papadimitriou (Athens, Greece).


Robin Symes, Limited (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996

A Matter of Taste: Alexis Smith's Commission for the Getty Center Restaurant (December 16, 1997 to April 12, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to April 12, 1998
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004

Giuliani, L. "Rhesos: On the Production of Images and the Reading of Texts." In ΜΥΘΟΙ, ΚΕΙΜΕΝΑ, ΕΙΚΟΝΕΣ. ΟΜΗΡΙΚΑ ΕΠΗ ΚΑΙ ΑΡΧΑΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΤΕΧΝΑΙ, edited by Walter-Karydi, E. Ithaca, 2010, , 239-245, figs. 1-4.

True, Marion. "The Murder of Rhesos on a Chalcidian Neck-Amphora by the Inscription Painter," The Ages of Homer. A Tribute to Emily Townsend Vermeule. J. Carter, S. Morris, eds. Austin, Texas: 1995. pp. 415-429, pp. 415-29; ill. frontispiece; ill. pp. xix, 417-21; figs. 25.1a-25.1g.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 46.

True, Marion. "Rhesos." In Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae VIII (1997), pp. 1044-47, p. 1045, no. 2; pl. 694.

March, Jenny. Cassell Dictionary of Classical Mythology (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1998), pp. 345-46, s.v. Rhesus, fig. 127.

Tsiafakis, Despoina. He Thrake sten Attike Eikonographia tou 5ou aiona p.X (Thrace in Athenian Iconography of the Fifth Century B.C.) (Komotini: Komotēnē Morphōtikos Homilos Komotinēs, Kentro Thrakikōn Meletōn, 1998), p. 236, pls. 76-78.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 68.

Boardman, John. The History of Greek Vases (London: Thames and Hudson, 2001), p. 74, fig. 103.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 46.

Hedreen, Guy. Capturing Troy: The Narrative Functions of Landscape in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Art (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001), p. 167, n. 154. (cited as L.88.AE.57, the loan accession number).

Wachter, Rudolf. Non-Attic Vase Inscriptions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 177, cat. CHA 3A.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 58.

Bennett, Michael, and Aaron J. Paul. Magna Graecia: Greek Art from South Italy and Sicily, exh. cat. (Cleveland and New York: Hudson Hills Press, 2002), pp. 60-62, fig. 18 (incorrectly cited as L.88.AE.56).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 27, ill.

Denoyelle, Martine, and Mario Iozzo. La céramique grecque d'Italie méridionale et de Sicile (Paris: Éditions A. et J. Picard, 2009), p. 13, pl. X, p. 82, fig. 110.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 60.

Sparkes, Brian. Greek Art. Greece and Rome: New Surveys in the Classics 40 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 42, 102-3, 112-13, figs. 11, 33, 35.

Oakley, John H. The Greek Vase: Art of the Storyteller (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013), frontspiece, pp. 86-87, figs. 23-25.

Tsiafakis, Despoina. "Thracian Tattoos." In Bodies in Transition: Dissolving the Boundaries of Embodied Knowledge, Dietrich Boschung, Alan Shapiro, and Frank Wascheck, eds. (Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2015), p. 93n12.

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