Attic Black-Figure Neck Amphora

Unknown, Connected with the Class of Cabinet des Médailles 218about 500 - 480 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In the epic poem, the Iliad, the greatest heroes of the Trojan War demonstrated their strength and courage in single, hand-to-hand combat. A Greek hero, like Achilles or Ajax, was matched against one from the Trojan side. This neck-amphora depicts two such combats. On the front of the vase, a warrior closes in from the left on his collapsing enemy, who attempts to raise his shield and protect himself. The back of the vase depicts a similar scene but with the positions reversed. Since these combat scenes have no inscriptions, they can not be specifically identified, but are of a general heroic nature.

In the early 400s B.C., although most vase-painters now worked in the recently invented red-figure technique, some painters continued to work in black-figure. In the changed pottery market, they sought ways to make their product more interesting. One method used by these late black-figure painters was to cover the normal reddish color of the clay background with a creamy white slip, as seen here. This white slip created a sharper contrast between the figures and the background.

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  • Title: Attic Black-Figure Neck Amphora
  • Creator: Unknown, Connected with the Class of Cabinet des Médailles 218
  • Date: about 500 - 480 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 cm (9 3/16 x 6 1/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Amphora
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.AE.78
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 209, Men in Antiquity
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Classification: Vessels


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