Getty Museum Announces Acquisition of Ancient Greek Vase

getty geometric greek vaseToday Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, enthusiastically announced the museum’s acquisition of a Geometric Greek vase dating back to 720 to 700 BC.

The addition of the Geometric Greek vase will be on display at the Getty Villa following its reinstallation in 2018. Standing at 27.5 inches, the terra-cotta vase known as a Geometric Greek Amphora, is two-handled and decorated in black with geometric patterns and human figures. This makes it a prime example of Geometric style that marked the beginning of classical Greek art when human figures first appeared on artifacts.

This vase in particular was made to be used in funerary rituals, mainly to accompany a burial. It is thought that the dancing figures and chariot races depicted on the vase detail the funeral ritual, while snakes refer to the underworld.

Because of the outstanding quality of intricate design and decorative patterns the vase has been attributed to the work of the anonymous artist known as the Philadelphia Painter.

As reported on, Timothy Potts commented about the importance of the addition of this piece to the museum.

“The figurative decoration on the Greek vase of the Geometric Period represents the beginning of the classical tradition in Greek art, making it an essential component of the new chronological and contextual display of the Villa’s collection that is currently in advanced planning.”

The vase was originally in a private collection in Düsseldorf and from 1963 to 1964 the vase found itself exhibited in Kassel, Germany.