Greek Terracotta Female Figurine

Greek Terracotta Female Figurine

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

3D Image

Female figurine, circa 470-450 BCE, polychrome terracotta. The features of the face and the details of the garment are naturalistic, even if the whole remains schematic and linear. It constitutes an intermediate milestone between the flat figures of the previous century and the more sculptural statuettes of the 4th century BCE. In particular, the lack of detailed hands, recall the older figurines.

Museum of Art History (Musée du Cinquantenaire), Brussels, Belgium. Made with 160 pictures with Zephyr3D Lite from 3DFlow.

Support OurNon-Profit Organization

Our Site is a non-profit organization. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide.

Tanagra figurine

The Tanagra figurines were a mold-cast type of Greek terracotta figurines produced from the later fourth century BC, named after the Boeotian town of Tanagra, where many were excavated and which has given its name to the whole class. However, they were produced in many cities. They were coated with a liquid white slip before firing and were sometimes painted afterward in naturalistic tints with watercolors, such as the famous "Dame en Bleu" ("Lady in Blue") at the Louvre. They were widely exported around the ancient Greek world. Such figures were made in many other Mediterranean sites, including Alexandria, Tarentum in Magna Graecia, Centuripe in Sicily and Myrina in Mysia.

Although not portraits, Tanagra figures depict real women—and some men and boys—in everyday costume, with familiar accessories like hats, wreaths or fans. Some character pieces [1] may have represented stock figures from the New Comedy of Menander and other writers. Others continued an earlier tradition of molded terracotta figures used as cult images or votive objects. Typically they are about 10 to 20 centimetres high.

Some Tanagra figurines were religious in purpose, but most seem to have been entirely decorative, much like their modern equivalents from the 18th century onward. Given Greek burial customs, they were placed as grave goods in the tombs of their owners, [2] very likely without any sense that they would serve the deceased in the afterlife, in the way that is common in the funerary art of ancient Egypt or China. They do not seem to have been specially made for burial.

The coraplasters, or sculptors of the models that provided the molds, delighted in revealing the body under the folds of a himation thrown round the shoulders like a cloak and covering the head, over a chiton, and the movements of such drapery in action.

Terracotta Sculpture: Greek Women With Ball

A photograph shows a Greek terracotta sculpture of two women standing next to each other. One of them is resting her arm on the other’s shoulder, and holds a ball in the same hand.


This 3rd century BC terracotta figurine, discovered in Corinth, depicts two women with a ball. The size of the ball matches that of those used for episkyros and harpastum, Greek and Roman ball games, respectively. There are no known accounts of women playing either of these games, as they are recorded as being quite violent. It is possible these two women are intended to be depicted watching a match, standing by with a spare ball.

At the time of photograph, this figurine was housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Related Articles

Crowther, N. B. (2007). Sport in ancient times. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Harris, H. A. (1972). Sport in Greece and Rome. Cornell University Press.

Popular girls

The demand for Tanagra figurines seemed to have no bounds in late 19th-century Europe. The statuettes, mainly of women, fit in with the ideals of feminine beauty and fashion of the Belle Epoque. The softness, grace, and modesty idealized in the diminutive figures, their robes, drapery, head coverings, and hairstyles contrasted with the austere depiction of male figures: classical Greek gods, statesmen and soldiers.

The presence of the government archaeologists at Tanagra did not stop the grave robbing. Insatiable demand for the figurines drove more clandestine removal from the necropolises. Fake figurines also began to enter the antiquities market. Some of the imitations were clumsy copies, but others were skilled forgeries and more difficult to detect. Local villagers would sell the figures–authentic and otherwise–to whomever would buy them, at increasingly exorbitant prices.

Many of these imposters fooled experts for years. They even made their way into prominent museum collections. Recent thermoluminescene analysis of Tangara figurines in the German State collections has revealed that as many as 20 percent of them are fakes.

Terracotta Sculpture: Greek Women With Ball

A photograph shows a Greek terracotta sculpture of two women standing next to each other. One of them is resting her arm on the other’s shoulder, and holds a ball in the same hand.


This 3rd century BC terracotta figurine, discovered in Corinth, depicts two women with a ball. The size of the ball matches that of those used for episkyros and harpastum, Greek and Roman ball games, respectively. There are no known accounts of women playing either of these games, as they are recorded as being quite violent. It is possible these two women are intended to be depicted watching a match, standing by with a spare ball.

At the time of photograph, this figurine was housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Related Articles

Crowther, N. B. (2007). Sport in ancient times. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Harris, H. A. (1972). Sport in Greece and Rome. Cornell University Press.

Greek Terracotta Female Figurine - History

Fortunately the artistic output of the ancient Greeks was extensive because most of it has now been lost. But enough remains in originals, fragments and copies that we are able to appreciate not only the volume of what was produced but also its quality. Life-sized or larger stone sculptures were not produced in Greece before 650 B.C. It was around that time that the Egyptian pharaoh Psammetichos allowed two groups of Greeks (Ionians and Carians) to settle along the banks of the Nile River. The Greeks learned the art of large stone carving from the Egyptians although they used the limestone and marble available in Greece, not the harder porphyry and granodiorite favoured by the Egyptians. The Egyptian &ldquolook and feel&rdquo was initially adopted by the Greeks but they were not content for long to simply produce sculptures in a style that had served the East for many generations. Within a couple of centuries they had evolved their distinctive Greek approach and abandoned the Egyptian formula.

The Greeks used a variety of materials for their large sculptures: limestone, marble (which soon became the stone of choice- particularly Parian marble), wood, bronze, terra cotta, chryselephantine (a combination of gold and ivory) and, even, iron. The only material which has survived in any quantity is stone the others were too precious or too fragile to survive the 25 centuries or so interval between the time of production and the present.

The stone sculptures of the ancient Greeks would not appear familiar to us today. Shortly after the pieces were carved they were painted either completely or in part. That was consistent with Egyptian practice and it may have made sense in the bright sunlight of Greece. The statues also were outfitted with a range of accessories that would have made them resemble figures in a modern wax museum. Hair and eyelashes were fashioned out of metal. Eyes were inset and were made of glass, ivory or coloured stones. Female figures were often outfitted with earrings and necklaces. Athletes would have been shown wearing the victor&rsquos wreath while warriors would be equipped with spears, shields and swords. Horses would have worn bridles and reins. If you look closely you can often see the holes for attachment of these accessories.

The head and limbs of Greek stone statues were often made separately and attached to the statue torso using dowels and tenons of metal and stone. Occasionally, cement was used to fasten on smaller pieces.

The huge statues of deities such as Athena and Zeus that were made of gold and ivory- chryselephantine (chrys = gold elephantine =ivory)- deserve particular mention. They were huge works of art by any standards and remind us that the primary purpose of Greek sculptures, at least initially, was religious. They were the temple centerpieces and their production cost rivaled or exceeded that of the temple which housed them. A large wooden core made up the body of the statue to which sheets of beaten gold (for the clothing) and ivory (for the flesh) was added. The statue then was always the target in times of war or economic uncertainty.

The victor in the various athletic festivals or his supporters often paid for a statue of the athlete, erected either at the festival site or in his hometown. In the case of the Spartan woman Kyniska who won the four-horse chariot race at the Olympics in 396 B.C. she had a bronze commemorative statue erected at Olympia. (Unfortunately only the fractured base and a part of the inscription text remains. As was often the case with large bronze sculptures it was likely melted down for the valuable metal.) The famous bronze charioteer from Delphi is one votive offering that did survive. In addition, statues were often commissioned in remembrance of an historical event. (e.g. the equally-famous Tyrannicides statues which commemorated the assassination of the tyrant Hipparchos) The need for private grave markers and memorials also contributed to the on-going demand for statues.

The evolution of Greek sculpture is a journey from the realm of the rigid and stylized towards the ideal of naturalism. Early figures resemble a mathematical formula executed in a hard and unyielding medium. It is as if the sculptures have emerged rigid from a frozen block of material. Late figures are far more relaxed and natural to the extent that one could easily imagine the statue taking a breath.

In the world of the ancient Greeks there was a very close relationship between sculpture and architecture. Both temples and sculptures were created in order to honour the gods and the sculptures were not just an embellishment of the temple together they combined to form an integrated and harmonious whole. The Parthenon is a good example and modern Greeks have long made the point that the so-called Elgin marbles, now a centerpiece of the British Museum, were an inseparable part of the Parthenon and cry out to be reunited with the building.

Greek Terracotta Female Figurine - History

Two permanent exhibitions attempt to bring visitors closer to the world of Antiquity


The collection of Ancient Greek Art comprises painted vases, terracotta figurines, bronze vessels, stone sculptures, coins, gold jewellery and glass items, covering a wide time span from the 2nd millennium BC to the 4th c. AD.

During this long period, major socio-political events took place, including the rise of Greek city- states, the establishment of democracy and the appearance of the first Mediterranean empires. Each of these developments left its imprint on art, producing images which reflect different social values and ideologies.

The exhibition on the 2nd floor of the museum provides a comprehensive overview of historical, artistic and technological developments in the course of ancient Greek history. The exhibition on the 4th floor offers a vivid glance on everyday life in Classical Athens, accompanied with rich educational material.


The exhibition has retained a chronological structure –necessary in order to accommodate approximately 400 artefacts ranging in date from the 2nd millennium BC (focusing on material from Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece) to the 4th century AD– but builds and extends its narrative upon the concept of the image.

The ancient Greek city is often called a ‘city of images’. Few ancient civilizations have depicted their gods and heroes, their myths, their daily life and death in such detail. Representational art was not only reserved for public buildings and luxury items, but extended to simple objects of everyday or personal use.

Fifty thematically organized cases offer a synthetic approach to the prehistory and history of the Aegean and mainland Greece societies. The journey through time focuses on the continuous stylistic transformations of Greek art, and explores the changing role of images in the course of ancient Greek history. The exhibition includes stone vessels, pottery, terracottas, marble sculptures and reliefs, bronzes, gold ornaments, glass, and a representative selection of seals and coins.

Introductory and thematic panel texts, extensive captions, and touch screen presentations provide information about the major socio-political, technological, and cultural developments of each period.

Beyond aesthetic enjoyment, the exhibition is aimed to offer a fresh look into ancient Greek societies. Visitors are invited to view objects within their historical environment, and contemplate upon their symbolic dimensions and the power of images to carry messages of various types. Thus, the monumental vases of the Geometric period decorated with funerary or heroic scenes are seen not only as manifestations of technical command but also as carriers for clarity and order, a dynamic characteristic of Greek art. The rich warrior iconography on vases of the Archaic period is not presented only as evidence of warfare, but also as a reflection of the rising importance of hoplites in the social life of the Greek city-states, the primary Greek institution.

| Curator: Dr. Nikolas Papadimitriou, Curator MCA
| Architectural Design: Anestei Parisi, Andromachi Skourogianni

The permanent exhibition on the 4th floor of the Main Building tries to transform our knowledge about daily life in antiquity (as provided by ancient texts and archaeological objects) into vivid images. Visitors are invited into a virtual tour in time and space: the tour starts from the world of the supernatural (gods) and the myth (heroes), goes through the realm of Eros, follows the activities of everyday women and men in their private and public life, explores their religious behaviour, and concludes with their attitudes against death and their beliefs about afterlife and the Underworld. One hundred forty two objects - mostly dating to the Classical και Hellenistic periods (5th-1st c. BC) - are grouped in nine separate units treating the following thematic areas:

Gods and Heroes | On the wings of Eros | Toiletry and wedding | Female activities | Athletics The Symposium | In the Athenian Agora | Warfare | Taking care of the deceased

The exhibition is supported by ample graphics which are meant both to increase the overall aesthetic effect and to enhance public understanding of the various artifacts and their function. Each showcase has a frieze of drawings accompanied by explanatory texts which provide as much information as possible about the particular subject. In order to increase the educational character of the exhibition, two short movies have been made using advance shooting and sound-recording techniques. In the first movie, we see scenes from the life of a man, named Leon: his birth and childhood, his involvement in sporting activities, his military training, his participation in public affairs, the preparations for his marriage to Melite, and, finally, his departure for war. The second movie focuses on the death of the protagonist, as his relatives pay him the customary honours at his funeral. The tour concludes with a hypothetical painted reconstruction of an ancient 5th c. BC town (demos) on the coast of Attica, where the hero was born, lived and died, according to the scenario of the films.

| Curators: Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis, Director MCA | Yorgos Tassoulas, Curator MCA
| Design: GPD Exhibitions & Museums | Boris Micka

Ancient Greek Terracotta Fragment of female figure

ITEM: Fragment of female figure
MATERIAL: Terracotta
CULTURE: Ancient Greek
PERIOD: 4th century BC.
DIMENSIONS: 90 mm x 48 mm (without stand)
CONDITION: Good condition
PROVENANCE: Ex Dutch private collection, Amsterdam, acquired before 1990s

IMPORTANT: Stand not included

Comes with Certificate of Authenticity and European Union export license

If you bid outside European Union and win the item, we must request a new export license to your country and the shipment will delay between 3 - 5 weeks and the new licence will have a cost of 5% of the value of the item won

The Seller can prove that the lot was obtained legally , provenance statement seen by Catawiki.
Important information. The seller guarantees that he is entitled to ship this lot.
The seller will take care that any necessary permits will be arranged.
The seller will inform the buyer about this if this takes more than a few days.

Greek Terracotta Female Figurine - History

6. Snake Goddesses on Crete

Maybe because Minoan Crete is singularly lacking in any artistically interesting sculpture, art historians have tended to single out the "Snake Goddess" for particular attention, causing us thereby to perceive it as being perhaps more important, and as occupying a more significant place, in Minoan culture than it warrants.

In the same way that the "Venus" of Willendorf, has come to epitomize Palaeolithic sculpture [see The Venus of Willendorf] , so the "Snake Goddess" is today regarded as a particularly important manifestation of Minoan religion, art, and society.

However, despite the attempts of Evans and later researchers to provide a satisfactory religious context for the figurine, the fact is that there is little (archaeological) evidence to support the existence in the Minoan religion of a "snake" deity. Around the time of Evans' discovery other finds of figurines made elsewhere on Crete were identified as, or associated with, the "snake goddess," but these are not always convincing.

The discovery made a year or two earlier by the American archaeologist Harriet Boyd of a crudely made terracotta female figurine with a snake wrapped around her body, right shoulder, and arms in a shrine at Gournià, dating to 1350-1200 BCE, was subsequently identified, following Evans' discovery, with the snake goddess, as were the fragments of five or so female figurines discovered by the Italian excavator Federico Halbherr in the cemetery at Priniàs near Gortyna, which showed, in some cases, a snake represented in relief on the lower arm (first published by Sam Wide in 1901 [see Sam Wide in the BIBLIOGRAPHY ] ).

A vase with the forms of a woman found at Koumasa (now in the Archaeological Museum, Herakleion) with a rope-like attachments marked with horizontal lines and circling the neck like snakes dating to around 2600-2200 BCE has been put forward as the prototype for the "snake goddess." The striped attachments, however, might be arms and a necklace rather than a snake.

In the case of the Koumasa vase, Evans' discovery may be said to have influenced the interpretation of the forms and shapes and enabled the identification of the piece as a "snake goddess."

A similar situation applies to the four clay female figures in long skirts unearthed at Palaikastro and now in the Archaeological Museum, Herakleion. Three of the figurines hold their arms outstretched while the fourth, according to R. M. Dawkins, holds a striped snake in her arms [see Dawkins in the BIBLIOGRAPHY ] .

Largely on the basis of Evans' find, the group was enthusiastically identified as the "Snake Goddess" attended by three votaries. A more judicious examination of the figurines, however, suggests that the central figure, around whom the three other figurines can be joined as in a circle dance, is holding not a snake but a lyre.

Among the many examples of cult objects such as the double-axe, the sacral knot, the sacral horns, sacred pillars, sacred trees, birds (doves), and beasts (bulls, lions, goats) seen painted in frescoes or on pottery, sculpted in reliefs, and engraved in seals, the snake appears only rarely.

Evans interpreted the snake as a form of the spirit of the Nether World and therefore identified the goddess as a chthonic deity. However, despite this underworld association, Evans maintained that the snake, and the goddess, should not be invested with any malignant significance. On the contrary, he argues that the snake has a friendly and domestic aspect. Lacking entirely any archaeological evidence in support of this view, he cites the European tradition among peasants of treating the snake as a benign household genius which in Herzegovina and Serbia was fed milk and treated as a domestic pet.

However, Geraldine Gesell argues that the snake goddess was not a household goddess as no snake goddess has ever been found in a true domestic context. Rather, the "Snake Goddess" had the broader function of universal Mother or Earth Goddess and was thereby principally a fertility deity [see Gesell in the BIBLIOGRAPHY ] .

Copyright © (text only) 2000
Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe
All rights reserved

Did the Greeks Help Sculpt China’s Terra Cotta Warriors?

In 1974, farmers digging a well uncovered one of the world’s most extensive and baffling archaeological sites, the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first ruler to unite, mainly through force, the warring kingdoms of China to become its first Emperor.

But one feature of the sprawling necropolis, which A.R. Williams at National Geographic reports covers some 38 square miles, is almost beyond belief. The emperor, who died circa 210 B.C., was buried with an estimated 8,000 life-size and highly detailed warrior statues made of terra cotta. Now, a new theory suggests the statues were inspired by Greek art, and that ancient Greek sculptors may have made it to China more than 1,500 years before Marco Polo. Researchers have evidence to back it up mitochondrial DNA shows Europeans interbred with the local population around the time the statues were made. The evidence will be detailed in a new documentary produced by National Geographic and the BBC.

Hannah Furness at The Independent reports that prior to the appearance of the terra cotta warriors, Chinese sculptors did not have a tradition of producing life-size statues. The leap from having no experience to creating armies of the artworks indicates they may have had some outside influence or help.

Lukas Nickel, chair of Asian Art History at the University of Vienna, tells Furness that he believes the Chinese artists may have encountered examples of Greek art, which made its way into Asia after the reign of Alexander the Great, whose empire in the 4th century B.C. spanned all the way to present-day India. “I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals,” Nickel says.

The DNA evidence comes from remains from sites in the Xinjian province dating to the time period of the first emperor. They show that Chinese and Europeans were likely encountering each other at that early date. “We now have evidence that close contact existed between the first emperor’s China and the west before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought,” says Li Xiuzhen, Senior Archaeologist at the museum that houses the terra cotta warriors. “We now think the Terra cotta Army, the acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site, have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art.”

Other discoveries in the tomb suggest that the death of China’s first emperor unleashed a bloody palace intrigue that even George R.R. Martin's imagination could not match. One group of skeletons believed to be deceased members of the royal family, includes a skull that appears to have been split by a bolt from a crossbow shot at close range. The find gives credibility to an early Chinese historian’s account of the unraveling of the Qin clan, which said the family's young princes were killed by a plotting sibling, reports Williams.

The theory that the Chinese were interacting with Greeks or at least Greek culture at such an early date is not too far fetched. Maev Kennedy at The Guardian reports that though the Silk Road between China and Europe was formally established in the 3rd century A.D., Chinese accounts claim Roman traders arrived well before that. As she points out, during the rule of the First Emperor of Rome, Romans were already wearing Chinese silk.

About Jason Daley

Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.

Greek Roman Classical

The Greeks established an artistic style which was emulated for generations by the ancient Romans, renaissance artists, and much of Western civilization. In its many incarnations, it is identified as a Classical Style. From ancient remnants of sculptures and architecture, we learn about how the early Classical civilizations laid the ground work for organizing society around democratic principles, urban infrastructure, formalized religion, and large public gathering areas. Can you see the ancient motifs repeated in later renaissance designs and neoclassical statues?

Greek Vase Two Warriors Red Figure AS IS ATTIC no returns

Medusa Head Snake Goddess Greek Roman Pendant Historical Costume Necklace

Caesar Roman Emperor Portrait Historical Costume Coin Gold Plate Necklace 20L

Owl Athena Minerva Roman Costume Drop Dangle Earrings Gold Finish .5L

Venus de Milo Aphrodite of Melos Greek Goddess of Love Statue 12H AS IS no returns attic

Athena Warrior Goddess Lekythos Greek Vase Red Figure Imported from Greece 23H

Diana Artemis of Versailles Greek Roman Goddess Statue 13H

Watch the video: Antike Plastik - Archaik, Klassik, Hellenismus Merkmale (December 2022).

Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos