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Terracotta kylix (drinking cup)

Attributed to the Painter of Munich 2660
Period:
Classical
Date:
ca. 460 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; red-figure
Dimensions:
H. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); diameter 7 7/8 in. (20 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
17.230.10
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
Interior and exterior, schoolboys

Athenian boys received their elementary education at three different places. They could learn to read, write, and do arithmetic at various private establishments. They learned to play the lyre and sing from a lyre master. And they were trained in gymnastics at a palaestra, a public or private exercise ground.
On the inside of this cup, a boy trudges to school carrying a writing tablet, which consists of two wooden leaves coated on one side with wax and tied together. One could scratch into the wax surface with a sharp stylus and then smooth the wax to erase the marks. It has been suggested that the boys on the outside of the cup are playing school. On either side, two students approach a boy who is acting as teacher. Two of the boys have papyrus rolls on which various poetic works could be written.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1920. "Recent Accessions of the Classical Department." Bullletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 15(5): p. 108.

McClees, Helen and Christine Alexander. 1933. The Daily Life of the Greeks and Romans: As Illustrated in the Classical Collections, 5th ed. pp. 50-51, fig. 63, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McClees, Helen and Christine Alexander. 1941. The Daily Life of the Greeks and Romans: As Illustrated in the Classical Collections, 5th ed. pp. 50-51, fig. 63, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 86, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 784, no. 25, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Sparkes, Brian. 2015. "Some Early Attic Red-Figure Stemless Cups." On the Fascination of Objects: Greek and Etruscan Art in the Shefton Collection, John Boardman, Andrew Parkin, and Sally Waite, eds. pp. 88-9, 92, figs. 7.10, 7.11, Philadelphia: Oxbow Books.

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