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Barber Cutting a Man’s Hair

Terracotta statuettes were popular in the Greek world. The earliest examples, which often represent divinities, were made as votives (gifts left at temples or shrines). Subjects that depict daily life began to appear during the classical and Hellenistic periods. This charming group captures a seated customer as he tilts his head to better allow the barber to cut his hair. The naturalism of the piece would have been accentuated by colorful paint applied over a white undercoat. Traces of the original color are preserved, even the border on the customer’s tunic. This work was probably made in a Boeotian workshop, since towns in this region, such as Tanagra and Thebes, had well-established traditions of terracotta production.

Greek, probably made in Boeotia
Barber Cutting a Man’s Hair
5th-4th century BC
Terracotta and paint
H. 5 1/2 in. (14.0 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 79.82