Attic Red-Figure Cup

Ambrosios Painterabout 510 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Dancing revelers decorate this Athenian red-figure cup. On the interior, a youthful reveler, naked except for a wreath in his hair and a short cloak over one arm, dances and flourishes his walking stick, a mark of Athenian aristocratic dandies. This lone figure finds his companions in the ten other youths encircling the exterior of the cup. These similarly outfitted youths twist their bodies into elaborate poses with their energetic dancing. Vase-painters in the last decades of the 500s B.C. were interested in accurately portraying the human body in movement and in different postures. The unknown artist of this cup exploited the potential in this scene of revelry for showing the body in a variety of poses.

This cup is unusual in that the interior of the cup, except for the small circle of black glaze surrounding the dancing figure, is covered in a coral-red glaze. A rare and difficult technique, coral-red glaze is known from only about sixty surviving vases. This intentional red color, much brighter than the normal reddish color of Athenian clay, was achieved through precisely controlled firing of the vases and was probably expensive to produce.

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  • Title: Attic Red-Figure Cup
  • Creator: Ambrosios Painter
  • Date: about 510 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 11.2 x 35.5 x 27.5 cm (4 7/16 x 14 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.280
  • Inscription: Tondo: KA[?]LISND[.]XI A: In the field, between the first three figures: N[.]IXISOI (I) K. Between the last two: LL K B: In the field, between the first two figures: NA[?]IX; between third and fourth KALI. Below handle B/A: A[?]IXI
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 209, Men in Antiquity
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Classification: Vessels


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