The J. Paul Getty Museum

Apulian Red-Figure Volute Krater

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Object Details


Apulian Red-Figure Volute Krater


Attributed to the Underworld Painter (Greek (Apulian), active about 340 - 310 B.C.)


Greek (South Italian, Apulian)


Apulia, South Italy (Place Created)


330–320 B.C.



Object Number:



63.5 cm (25 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

Funerary scenes decorate both sides of this Apulian red-figure volute-krater. On the front, a youth and a woman bring offerings to a naiskos, a small funerary shrine. A young man seated in the naiskos holds a theatrical comic mask. Both the naiskos and the seated youth are painted white in order to simulate marble or stone, an indication that the seated figure is actually a statue of the deceased. The mask and the scroll lying on the ground at his feet suggest that he was an actor who chose to have his career commemorated on his funerary monument. The back of the vase depicts a funerary stele with another pair of offering bearers.

The combination of two funerary scenes, one with a naiskos and one with a stele, was a popular motif on large Apulian funerary vessels of the later 300s B.C. Aside from the main scenes, most of the surface of this vase is covered with elaborate decoration. The intricate design on the neck with a satyr's head sprouting from tendrils, the florals under the handles, and the female heads in the handle volutes are all typical of the relentless ornament favored in the Apulian "Ornate Style."

- 1988

Robin Symes (London, England), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1988.

1988 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Naples and Vesuvius on the Grand Tour (December 21, 2001 to March 24, 2002)
  • The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), December 21, 2001 to March 24, 2002

Trendall, Arthur Dale, and Alexander Cambitoglou. Second Supplement to The Red-figured Vases of Apulia (Supplement to the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of London, 60). London: 1991-1992, p. 162, no. 18/293b, pl. XLI.3.

Taplin, Oliver. Comic Angels. Oxford: 1993, p. 93, pl. 23.23.

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), pp. 139-42, cat. no. 62.

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

Mcdonald, Marianne and J. Michael Walton, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), frontispiece illustration only.

Taplin, Olver, and Wyles, Rosie. The Pronomos Vase and Its Context (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp.171,238, figs.10.6,13.2.

Oakley, John H. The Greek Vase: Art of the Storyteller (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013), pp. 126-127, figs. 30-31.