Greek Terracotta Statuette of a Young Man


A Greek terracotta statuette of a young man in the nude. The man is shown standing on a pedestal, wearing a long drape upon his shoulders and falling down his back. His facial features, hair, and anatomical details have been carefully crafted, with details brought to life through paint. The original pink pigment is still visible on the figure’s body and face, while traces of the original yellow and blue pigmentation can be discerned on the young man’s long drape. The reverse remains unworked.

Date: Circa 4th-3rd Century BC
Condition: Excellent condition; some signs of ageing and brown earthy encrustations on the surface.


Terracotta figurines are the most common sculpture type in Greek art. Often fairly crude in their rendering, they were clearly designed for use across all social strata, and provide insight into the everyday lives of Greeks. This statuette is a wonderful example of the polychromy that defined Greek sculpture. Traces of paint left on an artefact are usually too small to be detected by the human eye, and so require technology to be discerned. In this instance, however, the polychromy is clear, making the statuette an excellent and rare insight into how Greek statuary was intended to look, and would have appeared in its original form.

To find out more about polychromy in ancient art, please refer to our relevant article: Polychromy in Ancient Greece

Weight 271.70 g
Dimensions L 23.5 cm


Pottery and Porcelain

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