Attic Red-Figure Cup

Dourisabout 480 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Scenes of the daily lives of Athenian schoolboys decorate this red-figure cup. In addition to basic literacy and mathematics, Greek boys were trained in athletics and music. On the interior of the cup, a boy holding a lyre stands in front of a bearded man, who must be his music teacher. On the outside, men and boys form similar scenes. The imagined walls of the schoolroom are hung with musical instruments and athletic equipment: lyres, string bags with knucklebones, sponges, and aryballoi. The scenes on this cup are not purely educational, however. On one side of the vase, a boy holds a hare on his lap, while on the other, a man offers a hare to another boy. In addition to serving as a classroom, the gymnasion in its role as the center of Greek physical and intellectual life was also the center of romantic courtship. Hares were popular love gifts in the homosexual relationships between older men and boys favored by the Athenian aristocracy in the early 500s B.C.

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  • Title: Attic Red-Figure Cup
  • Creator: Douris, and Python
  • Date: about 480 B.C.
  • Location Created: Athens, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 11.9 x 38.9 x 31.2 cm (4 11/16 x 15 5/16 x 12 5/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Signature: Douris, painter. Interior: in greek. Translated: "Douris painted [this]."
  • Object Type: Cup
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.AE.290
  • Inscription: Inscription on A: HIPPODAMAS KALOS, and B: HIPPODAMAS [ ]LOS ("Hippodamas is beautiful"). Inscription on tondo: DORIS .GRAPHSEN ("Douris painted this").
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 207, Women and Children in Antiquity
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Classification: Vessels