Attic Red-Figure Cup Fragment

Object Details


Attic Red-Figure Cup Fragment


Akestorides Painter (Greek (Attic), active about 470 - 450 B.C.)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place created)


about 470 - 450 B.C.




6.8 cm (2 11/16 in.)

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By the early 400s B.C., professional teachers had established schools in Athens. These teachers, who specialized in various aspects of education, provided training for the male children of parents who could afford to pay the tuition. The most basic education in one of these schools would have involved reading and writing and perhaps arithmetic. At about the same time, scenes of youths at school learning their lessons began to appear on Athenian vases, part of a growing interest on the part of vase-painters in depicting scenes of daily life.

This small red-figure cup fragment shows a boy holding a scroll while another person, perhaps his teacher, stands in front of him. Scholars have disagreed over what the scroll says. Some read it as the beginning of a list of mythological figures. Others see it as a fragment from an epic poem by Hesiod, "The Catalog of Women." The latter interpretation may be more accurate since all other scrolls in school scenes contain epic poetry. Schoolboys were made to memorize the works of great poets, especially Homer, as moral instruction.

This school scene comes from the interior of the cup. On the exterior, only the feet of two young men remain.

by 1962 - 1983

Walter Bareiss, American, born Germany, 1919 - 2007


and Molly Bareiss, American, 1920 - 2006 (Stamford, Connecticut), distributed to the Mary S. Bareiss 1983 Trust, 1983.

1983 - 1986

Mary S. Bareiss 1983 Trust, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986.

Greek Vases and Modern Drawings from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Walter Bareiss (June 13 to October 5, 1969) (97)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), June 13 to October 5, 1969
Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (August 23, 2003 to December 5, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004

Beazley, J. D. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters. 2nd ed. Oxford: 1963, p. 1670, no. 4bis.

Bothmer, Dietrich von, and J. Bean. Greek Vases and Modern Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss. Exh. checklist, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: 1969, p. 7, no. 97.

Beazley, J. D. Paralipomena. Additions to Attic Black-figure Vase-painters and to Attic Red-figure Vase-painters. 2nd ed. Oxford: 1971, p. 417, no. 4 bis.

Immerwahr, Henry. "More Book Rolls on Attic Vases," Antike Kunst 16 (1973), pp. 143-144, cat. no. 7bis; pl. 31.1-3.

True, Marion, and Jiri Frel. Greek Vases: Molly and Walter Bareiss Collection (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), p. 82, no. 186.

"Acquisitions/1986." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 15 (1987), pp. 160-61, no. 7.

March, Jennifer R. The Creative Poet: Studies on the Treatment of Myths in Greek Poetry. Bulletin of the Institue of Classical Studies, Supplement 49 (1987), p. 61; pl. 24 (as Bareiss 63).

Beazley Addenda: Additional References to ABV, ARV2, and Paralipomena. 2nd ed. Compiled by T. Carpenter with T. Mannack and M. Mendonca. Oxford: 1989, p. 288.

Robb, Kevin. Literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece. Oxford: 1994, pp. 186-87; fig. 7.1, and cover.

Moore, Mary B. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. The J. Paul Getty Museum 8 (USA 33). Malibu: 1998, pp. 51-52, no. 70; pl. 440, 2.

Immerwahr, Henry. R. A Corpus of Attic Vase Inscriptions. Preliminary Edition. Part VI: Supplement. 2001, no. 5025.

Gaunt, Jasper. "The Poet and the Painter. A Hymn to Zeus on a Cup by the Brygos Painter." In Between Orality and Literacy. Communication and Adaption in the Ancient World. Ruth Scodel, ed. (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2014), p. 108.