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Terracotta head of a woman, probably a sphinx

Period:
Archaic
Date:
1st quarter of the 5th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Terracotta
Dimensions:
H. 8 1/8 in. (20.7 cm)
Classification:
Terracottas
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
47.100.3
  • Description

    Terracotta sculpture of large scale and high quality is rare in Greek art of the mainland as against that of southern Italy, for example. The proportions and the break at the neck suggest that this exceptionally fine head belonged to a sphinx, possibly the akroterion of a small building. (Akroteria decorated the apex and corners of roofs.) Of particular interest also is the way polychromy is used for such details as the earrings and the headband.

  • Provenance

    Said to have been found near Olympia (Richter 1948, p.152).

    Until 1947, collection of Joseph Brummer; acquired July 11, 1947, purchased from the estate of Joseph Brummer.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 69, 210, pl. 50a.

    Forsyth, William H. and The International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art. 1974. "Acquisitions from the Brummer Gallery." The Grand Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sixth International Exhibition presented by C.I.N.O.A.. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 4.

    Picón, Carlos A. 1992. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1991-1992." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 50(2): no. 103, p. 97.

    1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 103, pp. 97, 425.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 68.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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