Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta statuette of a "temple boy"

Period:
Early Hellenistic
Date:
3rd century B.C.
Culture:
Cypriot
Medium:
Terracotta; mold-made
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm)
Classification:
Terracottas
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
74.51.1607
Not on view
Votive "temple boy" figures are more common in limestone, and small terracotta such as this are relatively rare. Various interpretations have been put on the purpose of the figures, but it seems likely that they were placed in temples to mark a rite of passage in the boy's life and secure for him divine protection. But, whatever the meaning of the figures, it is clear that they represent a Cypriot custom that drives not form the Greek world but form that of the Near East.
From Cyprus Said to be from the temple of Apollo Hylates at Kourion

Cesnola, Luigi Palma di. 1894. A Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Vol. 2. pl. XLIV.346, Boston: James R. Osgood and Company.

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 2293, p. 361, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Robinson, David Moore. 1931. Excavations at Olynthus: The Terra-cottas of Olynthus found in 1928, Vol. 4, D.M. Robinson, ed. p. 78, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 433, p. 269, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Gloria Merker, and Joan R. Mertens. 2004. The Cesnola Collection: Terracottas. cat. 388, CD-ROM. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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