A large terracotta of a woman holding a bird to her chest in the manner typical of the later ‘Aphrodite Group’ terracottas. The body of the statue is rendered in realistic proportions, in place of previous types which had a significantly larger head. She is shown in draped dress, and appears to be wearing a headdress of sorts. The reverse is undecorated and curved.
Date: Circa 6th Century BC Provenance: Ex Heinz Muller, Westphalian German collection, 1960s. Condition: Very fine. Encrustations on the surface.
The ‘Aphrodite Group’ of terracottas was a stylistic group which developed in the sixth Century BC in eastern Greece. The style was extremely popular, being widely exported and imitated across the Mediterranean. The drapery in which the figure is depicted was difficult to render, often causing much of the body shape to be concealed. This was used to an ideological advantage, however, with such figures considered to exhibit modesty and dignity. The woman is shown holding a bird (a symbol of death in a great deal of Greek art) in one hand to the middle of her chest. This particular form with the bird was developed around 550 BC, and enjoyed popularity for a longer period than other standing types. The distinctive style gives us a terminus post quem for this particular figure.
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