Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta statuette of a siren

ca. 550–500 B.C.
Overall: 8 1/4 x 9 1/2 x 5in. (21 x 24.1 x 12.7cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Renée E. and Robert A. Belfer Gift, 2000
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 152
Sirens are mythical creatures famous in antiquity for their song, which lured sailors to their death. Sanctuaries to the sirens are known to have existed in parts of South Italy and Sicily, as the geographer Strabo and other ancient writers tell us. This large, hand-modeled sculpture with applied decoration may well have been a votive offering at such a sanctuary.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2000. "One Hundred Thirtieth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 130: p. 18.

Hemingway, Seán Dr. 2001. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2000-2001." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 59(2): p. 9.

Related Objects

Terracotta head of a woman, probably a sphinx

Date: 1st quarter of the 5th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 47.100.3 On view in:Gallery 157

Terracotta head of a woman

Date: 3rd–2nd century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 23.160.95 On view in:Gallery 161

Terracotta funerary plaque

Date: ca. 520–510 B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 54.11.5 On view in:Gallery 154

Terracotta cosmetic vase

Date: 4th quarter of the 6th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 1977.11.3 On view in:Gallery 152

Terracotta askos in the form of a boar

Date: 4th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 41.162.46 On view in:Gallery 161