Terracotta vase in the form of a Black African youth's head

Attributed to the Negro Boy Group

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 170

This vase combines the distinctive neck of the so-called Shape VII oinochoe with a naturalistic head of a Black African youth. His curls and the central rosette were made separately. Vases in figural form were popular items in several Mediterranean cultures. The Etruscans produced both terracotta and metal versions.

We do not know who made or painted this vase, and the attribution to "The Negro Boy Group" is a modern classification devised by Sir John Beazley (1885-1970), a British scholar who specialized in Greek painted pottery and whose terminology continues to be used by scholars today. For ancient artists whose names are unknown, Beazley often used nicknames based on distinctive visual features or subject matter. Outdated or inappropriate words or phrases that have long been associated with an object are retained because they remain necessary for reference and research.

Terracotta vase in the form of a Black African youth's head, Attributed to the Negro Boy Group, Terracotta, Etruscan

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