Western Greece, Rhodes, Archaic period, ca. 7th to 5th century BCE. An elegant terracotta protome depicting a lovely goddess, presenting well-modeled facial features including a subtle Archaic smile, almond-shaped eyes with articulated lids and browline, an aquiline nose, and a rounded chin - this visage rising from rounded shoulders and crowned by a centrally parted wavy coiffure and wearing a polos. A lovely example that speaks to the importance of female religious figures in ancient Greece. Size: 12" W x 13.625" H (30.5 cm x 34.6 cm); 15.5" H (39.4 cm) on included custom stand.
A protome is a type of bust made by pressing a thin layer of terracotta into a single mold. These were first made in Rhodes, but from the early fifth century BCE onwards they spread throughout Greece. Originally, this piece would have been painted in vibrant colors; this said, the monochrome clay body is pleasing to us today.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Richard Wagner collection, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, acquired in the 1960s
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Two intentional perforations at lower edge of polos were probably intended for ornamentation. Head/neck reattached to shoulders. Upper body repaired from about 3-5 pieces with restoration over the break lines. Normal surface wear and nicks to the peripheries and high-pointed areas commensurate with age.