The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statuette of a Reclining Satyr

Object Details


Statuette of a Reclining Satyr




Greek or South Italian


South Italy; Greece (Place Created)


450–425 B.C.



Object Number:



84 × 8.9 × 1.9 cm (33 1/16 × 3 1/2 × 3/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

Reclining like a guest at a symposion, or aristocratic drinking party, this satyr rests on his left elbow with his ankles casually crossed. With his relaxed pose and the fillet or ribbon in his hair, this civilized satyr looks much like any human reveler, with only his large goat-like ears betraying his animal nature. In Greek mythology, satyrs were the companions of Dionysos, the god of wine. The unknown sculptor of this statuette has taken the symposion, a social ritual from the world of men, and transferred it to Dionysos's realm.

This figure has a nearly identical twin in a private collection and the two pieces were probably used together in antiquity. Reclining satyrs were a popular decoration for vessels used at symposia. Although no traces of any attachments marks remain, this statuette and its mate probably once decorated the rim or handles of a large bronze krater or mixing vessel for wine and water.


Galerie Nefer (Zurich, Switzerland)

- 1989

Robert Haber (New York, New York), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1989.

1989 - 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

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. 71-72, cat. no. 27.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 64.

Daehner, Jens. "Grenzen der Nacktheit. Studien zum nackten männlichen Körper in der griechischen Plastik des 5. und 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.," Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 120 (2005): 155-300, 237, n. 289.