Glass fragmentary beaker with painted decoration

Period: Mid-Imperial

Date: ca. 2nd century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Glass; blown, cut, and cold-painted

Dimensions: 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)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1922

Accession Number: 22.2.36, .37


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 (venationes). At Pompeii, numerous painted graffiti are preserved that advertise events in the amphitheater. These indicate that venationes were typically staged in the morning, public executions at the midday break, and gladiatorial contests in the afternoon.