Terracotta figures were very popular in the ancient world, and, from an early period, a production center was located in the Greek city of Tanagra. Early examples depicted deities, but by the Hellenistic period figures relating to daily life were favored. This elegant lady is dressed in a fashionable gown coved by a mantle. Her painted auburn hair is well preserved, as are her gilded earrings. The rest of her garments would have been brightly painted as well, but aside from traces of pale blue in the folds, most of the color has been lost, with only the white under layer remaining. Figures of this type were mold-made, a technique that facilitated mass production. However, since several molds were used for each figure, interchanging molds allowed for many variations.
Greek, probably made in Tanagra, Boeotia
Hellenistic period, 2nd century BC
Terracotta, added color, gilding
H. 7 7/8 in. (20.0 cm), W. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm), D. 2 in. (5.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 64.88