Euboean Black-Figure Neck Amphora

Unknownabout 570 - 560 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The judgment of Paris, the event that sparked the Trojan War, decorates one side of this black-figure neck-amphora. In Greek mythology, Strife caused a dispute among the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite over who was the most beautiful. Zeus, the king of the gods, commanded that the dispute must be settled by Paris, the handsome young son of King Priam of Troy. Each of the goddesses offered the young man a bribe for his vote. Aphrodite, whom Paris picked, promised him Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman. Paris's running off with Helen, who was already married to the Greek king of Sparta, sparked the Trojan War. His choice of Aphrodite also earned the hatred of Athena and Hera and sealed the fate of the Trojans. On this vase, the three goddesses trail along behind Hermes, who is identified by his kerykeion. Paris steps forward and shakes hands with Hermes, accepting his fate. The other side of the vase depicts a scene of two men between sphinxes.

Scholars have had difficulty determining the origin of this amphora. Several features, however, such as the lively figures, the secondary ornament, and the abundance of added red and white color suggest that this vase was made on the island of Euboea.

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  • Title: Euboean Black-Figure Neck Amphora
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: about 570 - 560 B.C.
  • Location Created: Euboea, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 35.6 x 23.2 cm (14 x 9 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.52
  • Markings: Markings: On the underside of the foot, graffito (not documented in JOHNSTON, TRADEMARKS.
  • Inscription: Secondary Inscription: Graffito on the bottom: "AX"
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Euboean)
  • Classification: Vessels