Robin Symes Ltd (London, England), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1988.
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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 109, The Greeks in Southern Italy and Sicily
Apulian Red-Figure Askos
Greek (South Italian, Apulian)
Apulia, South Italy (Place Created)
17 × 16 cm (6 11/16 × 6 5/16 in.)
Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman
On one side of this flask-like vessel, an older man runs along brandishing a stick. The focus of his pursuit is depicted on the other side, perhaps fleeing the beating. The pair can be seen as a master and slave, a subject common in the phlyax plays that were popular in Southern Italy during the 300s and 200s B.C.
Phlyax plays were farces parodying the heroes and themes of mythology or the comic elements of everyday life. The term phlyax, which is used for both the play and the costumed actors, probably derives from the Greek verb "to swell" and finds its meaning in the actors' costumes. They wore a mask, tights, a padded tunic, and a large artificial phallus; any other garments necessary for the role were worn over this.
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. 74, no. 11/133b, pl. xii.5-6.
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. 134-35, cat. no. 59.
Zewadski, William Knight. Ancient Greek Vases from South Italy in Tampa Bay Collections. Supplement III. Tampa: August 1995, p. 95, no. 1l.
"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 68.
Robinson, E.D.G. "Reception of Comic Theatre Amongst the Indigenous South Italians." Meditarch 17 (2004), 193, 194, 196, pl. 27.3-4.
Todisco, L. (ed.), La Ceramica a Figure Rosse della Magna Grecia e della Sicilia (Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2012), pl. 135.3-4.