The J. Paul Getty Museum

Foot of a Cista (Container) with Usil

Object Details


Foot of a Cista (Container) with Usil






Vulci (?), Etruria (Place Created)


about 490 B.C.



Object Number:



15.2 × 10.3 × 4.9 cm (6 × 4 1/16 × 1 15/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

The vessel foot takes the form of a feline paw surmounted by an attachment plate in openwork relief. The paw is surmounted by an Ionic capital with an incised triangle and a beaded abacus. Atop the capital and extending over both edges is a row of symmetrically opposed cut-out waves. Running to the right over their crests is a nude winged youth, who represents Usil, the Etruscan sun god. His knees are bent in a position known as the "Knielauf," a schema for rapid movement in the art of the Archaic period. His legs are shown in profile to the right, his body and head frontal, and his torso is slightly twisted. Usil wears soft pointed boots with wings attached at the heels. His arms are stretched out sideways in front of his upswept, sickle-shaped wings, the feathers of which are incised. His hair is crowned by a beaded fillet.

Originally one of a set of three, this foot belonged to an Etruscan cista, a cylindrical bronze box used to hold cosmetics. The cista itself rested on a projecting shelf on the back of the foot and the back surface of which is slightly curved. From the curvature of the relief, the cista would have been about twenty centimeters in diameter. 

- 1990

Robin Symes (London, England), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1990.

1990 - 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. 160-61, cat. no. 73.

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

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 132.

Martelli, M. “Antichità etrusche e italiche di collezioni ottocentesche nel Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Madrid.” In Arqueología Coleccionismo y Antigüedad: España E Italia en el Siglo XIX. José Beltrán Fortes, Beatrice Cacciotti and Beatrice Palma Venetucci, eds. (Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla, 2006), p. 369, n. 94.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 128.

Manchester, K. Recasting the Past. Collecting and Presenting Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), p. 60, fn. 2.

Klinger, Sonia. "Underworld Demons on an Early Fifth Century BCE Etruscan Black-Figure Stamnos from Vulci, now in Berlin." Etruscan Studies 6, no. 1 (2013), pp. 56-7, fig. 15.

Sofroniew, Alexandra. Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 49, fig. 23.

Lyons, Claire L. "New Etruscan Gallery premieres at the Getty Villa." Etruscan News 20 (Winter 2018), p. 16.