The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Panathenaic Amphora with Lid

Object Details


Attic Panathenaic Amphora with Lid


Attributed to the Marsyas Painter (Greek (Attic), active 370 - 330 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place Created)


340–339 B.C.



Object Number:



78.5 × 39.2 cm (30 7/8 × 15 7/16 in.)

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Object Description

The Panathenaia, a state religious festival, honored Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. Held every four years, the festival included athletic, musical, and other competitions. Amphorae filled with oil pressed from olives from the sacred trees of Athena were given as prizes in the Panathenaic Games. These amphorae had a special form with narrow neck and foot and a standard fashion of decoration. One side showed Athena, the goddess of war, armed and striding forth between columns, and included the inscription "from the games at Athens." The other side showed the event for which the vase was a prize. Leading vase-painters, commissioned by the state, decorated these vessels, which continued to be decorated in the black-figure technique long after it had gone out of fashion for other vases, probably due to religious conservatism. The same conservatism is applied to the depiction of Athena.

On this example, the figure of Athena is portrayed in an Archaistic or old-fashioned style. An additional inscription, seen here to the right of Athena, names the archon or city magistrate. Because historical records date these magistrates, the vase can be dated very precisely. The event side of this vase shows a special race in which an apobates or armed competitor had to leap off a moving chariot, run alongside it, and then jump back on.

- 1979

Carlo Fallani (Rome, Italy) and Dr. Giorgio Fallani, 1921 - 1994, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1979.

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
The Classical Period of Ancient Greece (March 1 to June 2, 2002)
  • Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), March 1 to June 2, 2002

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), p. 47.

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Mattusch, C. "Field Notes," Archaeological News, vol. 10, 4, 1981, p. 91, ill. p. 91.

Simon, Erika. The Kurashiki Ninagawa Museum. Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities (Mainz am Rhine: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1982), p.110.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 47.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 51.

Valavanes, P. D. Panathenaic Amphorai from Eretria, 1991, p. 69, 252, passim, ill. pls. 86-87.

Hamilton, R. Choes and Anthesteria. Athenian Iconography and Ritual. Ann Arbor: 1992, p. 237, Appendix 7.

Frel, Jirí. "The Grave of a Tarentine Athlete." Taras 12.1 (1992), 131-134, footnote 19.

Frel, Jiří. "The Portraits of Demetrios Polioketes by Lysippos and Teisikrates." In Studia Varia (Rome: Bretschneider, 1994), "Nugae Panathenaicae," p. 29, h; fig. 11.

Manakidou, Elene P. Parastaseis me Armata. Thessaloniki: 1994, p. 296, no. 11.

Frel, Jiří. "Nugae Panathenaicae." In Studia Varia, Jiří Frel, ed. (Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1994), p. 29, fig. 11.

Eschbach, Norbert. Review of Panos Valavanis, Panathenaichoi Amphoreis apo ten Eretria. Gnomon 67 (1995), pp. 455-463, pp. 460-461, 463.

Hamilton, Richard. "Panathenaic Amphoras. The Other Side." Worshipping Athena. Panathenaia and Parthenon (ed. J. Neils). 1996. 137-162, p. 154, note 103.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 53.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 53.

Neils, Jenifer. The Parthenon Frieze (Cambridge: 2001), p. 138, n. 33; p. 139, fig. 101.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 84.

Miller, Stephen G. Ancient Greek Athletics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), pp. 142-143, fig. 229 (incorrectly cited as 77.AE.147).

Laurin, Joseph R. Women of Ancient Athens (Victoria: Trafford, 2005), p. 58, fig. 2.

Cohen, Beth, ed. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006), pp. 146-48, cat. no. 39, figs. 39.1-39.3.

Simon, Erika. "Ein Fund attischer Keramik aus dem Jahrzehnt 340/330 v. Chr.", in Carina Weiss and Erika Simon (eds.), Ruth Linder. Folia in Memoriam Collecta(Dettelbach:Verlag J.H. Roll GmbH, 2010), 146-159, figs. 1-2.

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Langner, Martin. “Grundlagen der Chronologie spätrotfiguriger Vasen aus Athen.” BABesch 88 (2013), 127-170, pp. 132-133, fig. 6e.

Eschbach, N. Pananthenäische Preisamphoren aus dem Kerameikos zu Athen. Kerameikos 21. Berlin: Dr Ludwig Reichert Verlag Wiesbaden, 2017, pp. 50, 78n634, 93-94, fig. 15d.

Schertz, P., "From Myth to History: The Chariot in Ancient Greek Art", in The Horse in Ancient Greek Art, edited by Stribling, N and Schertz, P. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017, p. 47, fig. 36.

Massar, N., "Inscribed Black-Glaze Attic Vases", in Proceedings of the Ninth International Scientific Meeting on Hellenistic Pottery, Thessaloniki, December 5-9, 2012 (Athens, 2018), 663-676, pp. 665n12.

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