Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Amazon on Horseback

This vividly colored terracotta statuette of a woman riding a horse is remarkably well preserved. She is an Amazon and belongs to a mythical race of female warriors who frequently appear in Greek mythology. This Amazon is shown with an exposed breast and an oriental costume of tunic, pants, boots, Phrygian cap, torque necklace, and earrings. Her weapons include a light shield (pelta) and spear (now missing). The horse, too, is presented with attention to detail: the ornamental disks (phalerae) on the bridle are gilded, and the reins and collar across the chest (balteus) are clearly delineated. At the rear of the horse, a hole indicates that a fiber tail was once attached. The two wing-like protrusions that seemingly grow out of the Amazon's back are unusual, but they may represent a wind-blown cloak.

Greek, probably made in southern Italy
Amazon on Horseback
Classical or Hellenistic period, late 4th–3rd century BC
Terracotta, added color, gilding
Rider: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm), W. 5 1/2 in. (14.0 cm), L. 7.0 in. (17.8 cm); Horse: H. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm), W. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm). L. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 81.8A-B