Greece, Hellenistic period, ca. 3rd century BCE. A hollow, mold-made votive statue of a woman wearing a long chiton, her himation falling from her shoulders and over her arms and back. Her hair is carefully piled atop her head in a high bun. She stands on a rectangular plinth. Size: 1.6" L x 2.75" W x 9.3" H (4.1 cm x 7 cm x 23.6 cm)
During the Hellenistic Period, Greeks had access knowledge about the past through institutions like the Library of Alexandria, creating a sense of history and connection to the Greeks who had come before them. Prominent Hellenistic art collectors commissioned pieces based on public statues from the earlier Classical Period, and smaller, more available art forms like this sculpture echoed the naturalistic, detailed classical style. Terracotta figures like this one have been found in private dwellings where they may have been part of a shrine or had a religious purpose. Others decorate tombs and sanctuaries - in Tanagra, the site that this style of figure is named for, some graves has up to a dozen of these statuettes. Perhaps they represented mourners, dressed in finery to attend a funeral.
Provenance: ex-private Swiss collection
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