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Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron and Son


Fragmentary glass beaker

ca. 2nd century A.D.
Glass; blown, cut, and cold-painted
Overall (22.2.36): 3 15/16 x 2 1/2 in. (10 x 6.4 cm) Overall (22.2.37): 5 5/16 x 2 3/4 in. (13.5 x 7 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1922
Accession Number:
22.2.36, .37
  • Description

    Colorless; enamel-painted in blue, yellow, green, brown, brick red, and white.
    Body with straight side, tapering downwards; band at bottom beveled by cutting.
    Parts of three horizontal registers of painted decoration on exterior, divided by horizontal ground lines in yellow and red: at top, only part of a vertical object, possibly a leg and foot, in yellow and red survives; at center, two pairs of gladiators, one pair with round, the other with oblong shields - at left, a gladiator in a blue tunic defeats his opponent dressed in red, who has dropped his shield and falls backwards; above and between them a victory wreath; at right, the gladiators are still fighting, the one to the left is dressed in yellow with his left leg also covered; only the large shield of his opponent has survived; at bottom, an animal hunt is depicted with two large cats at left - a blue-spotted leopard and a tawny yellow lion - and two deer fleeing to the left, one of which is being attacked from behind by the lion; in the field between the animals, patches of green indicate vegetation.
    Two large conjoining fragments, broken on all sides; few bubbles; very little weathering.

    Relatively few painted glass vessels have survived from antiquity. This example, although sadly incomplete, is decorated in a rich palette of colors with lively scenes representing gladiators and wild beast fights.

  • Provenance

    Probably from Eygpt

  • References

    Sorabella, Jean. 2001. "A Roman Sarcophagus and its Patron." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 36: p. 59.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 442, pp. 378, 492.

    de Puma, Richard Daniel. 2013. Etruscan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 314.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History