Attic Red-Figure Cup Type A

Psiaxabout 520 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Psiax has been called an experimenter because of his work in many different varieties of vase decoration during the late sixth century B.C. This red-figure cup may be the first preserved example of a cup with a figural frieze on the outside instead of an eye-cup scheme, as in the Brygos Painter's Wine Cup with the Suicide of Ajax.

On both on the interior and the exterior of the cup, Psiax painted erotically charged encounters between youths and men, and males and females. What makes this vase different is that he used incision and added-white in his red-figure technique as well as added-red colors. On this cup, these techniques are joined by an extensive use of added-clay relief. Thus, the lyre on side A has arms and a cross-piece painted in added color, much of which has flaked off, incised strings, and a raised sound box added in clay (now chipped). The leftmost youth sits on a camp stool which the artist added in clay relief. It has white hinges and is topped by what was once a red cushion. The surface of what was once apparently a brightly colored vase, perhaps enhanced with gilding, is now the beige color of the clay.

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  • Title: Attic Red-Figure Cup Type A
  • Creator: Psiax
  • Date: about 520 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 11 x 27.5 cm (4 5/16 x 10 13/16 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: Cup
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.AE.278
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Classification: Vessels