Glass fragmentary beaker with painted decoration


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 168

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 and to either side small Greek letters, perhaps the names of the gladiators; 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.

Glass fragmentary beaker with painted decoration, Glass, Roman

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