Terracotta plate

Attributed to the Kantharos Group

Period: Late Classical

Date: ca. 325–300 B.C.

Culture: Greek, South Italian, Apulian

Medium: Terracotta; red-figure

Dimensions: H. 2.8 cm. Diameter 12.07 cm.

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1906

Accession Number: 06.1021.229


Isolated heads appear on more than half of all surviving South Italian vases. Most of the heads are female, rendered in profile, as seen on this plate. They are typically shown wearing patterned headdresses and jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, and diadems. Only rarely are the heads depicted with any type of identifying attribute and only one example in London is labeled with an inscription, "Aura" ("Breeze") It is unknown how the heads were originally identified, but they are consistently painted with funerary imagery, suggesting that their iconographic meaning was widely understood in antiquity.