The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Black-Figure Volute Krater

Object Details


Attic Black-Figure Volute Krater


Attributed to the Leagros Group (Greek (Attic), active 525 - 500 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place Created)


510–500 B.C.



Object Number:



58.5 cm (23 1/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

Scenes from the world of myth and the world of humans decorate the neck of this Athenian black-figure volute-krater. The upper zone on one side depicts the battle of the gods and the Giants. In Greek mythology, the giants, the children of Ge (Earth) and Uranus (Sky), tried to overthrow the Olympian gods in a mighty battle. Only three gods are clearly identifiable here: Herakles with his lion skin, Athena with her snake-edged aegis, and Hermes with his special staff and winged boots. The lower frieze on this side shows various athletic contests: two runners in armor, a naked runner, a discus thrower, a javelin thrower, wrestlers, and trainers. The scene at the right shows a particularly bloody version of the pankration, a combination of wrestling and boxing in which anything was fair except biting an opponent or gouging his eyes out.

On the other side of the vase, the lower zone on the neck shows a group of warriors departing in their chariots. Departure scenes were popular in Archaic art, but this scene is more elaborate than usual.

The handles of this krater, a vessel used for mixing wine and water, are in the form of large curls or volutes, hence the name of this shape, a volute-krater.

by 1985 - 1992

Robin Symes Ltd. (London, England), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1992.

1992 - 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
Athletes in Antiquity: Works from the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 1 to April 15, 2002)
  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts (Salt Lake City), February 1 to April 15, 2002

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. 89-92, cat. no. 37.

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

Johnston, Alan. "Directed Trade: Two Epigraphical Problems." In Ceramique et Peintures Grecques. Modes d'Emploi. Marie-Christine Villaneuva Puig et al., eds. (Paris: La Documentation Francaise, 1999), 397-398.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Athletes in Antiquity: Works from the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, exh. cat. (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 2002), pp. 17-18, no. 12.

Spivey, Nigel and Squire, Michael. Panorama of the Classical World (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2004), p. 33, fig. 43.

Johnston, Alan. Trademarks on Greek Vases: Addenda. (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 2006), p. 96, type 9C, 6a and p.147, type 7F, 2a.

Jurriaans-Helle, Geralda. "A Giant in the Allard Pierson Museum" In Shapes and Images [Fest. Herman.A.G. Brijder]. Eric M. Moormann and Vladimir V. Stissi (eds.), (Peeters: Levuen, Paris, Walpole MA, 2009), 187-197, cat. no. B20.

Jurriaans-Helle, Geralda. Composition in Athenian Black-Figure Vase Painting. The 'Chariot in Profile Type' Scene. Leuven, Paris, and Bristol, CT: Peeters, 2021, p. 212 (cat. no. HK II 31), 222 (cat. no. HL III 71), 230 (cat. no. HL IV 68).