Painted pottery cup
Greek, 12.8 cm diameter. Attic red figure, attributed to the ‘Colmar Painter’, 6th or 5th century BC, found in Chiusi. AN1886.587
Work and play combined: a boy carries a plate of food covered with a napkin in one hand, and trundles a hoop along with the other. This is a masterpiece of composition, designed to harmonize with the tondo form of the cup. Greek painting was a main source for the development of Western European art, but the large murals that once adorned great monuments have vanished. Some slight indication of the style and subject matter that informed them is offered by the very extensive survival of Greek pottery. Many scholars have been involved in building up the impressively representative collection in the Ashmolean, not least Sir Arthur Evans, who gave this cup in 1886, but most famously Sir John Beazley (1885–1970), Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art in Oxford, great analyst of the development of Greek painting and the styles of the individual painters, and benefactor of the Ashmolean.
Greece (Gallery 16), Ground Floor, Case C109