Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta painted gorgoneion antefix (roof tile)

ca. 540 B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Tarentine
Terracotta, paint; mold-made
H. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm.) W. 10 5/16 in. (26.2 cm.) Depth as preserved 3 11/16 in. (9.4 cm.)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
The clear modeling and the vivid traces of paint make this antefix a fine example of its kind. Although the colors (yellow, red, and blue) may appear faded now, their original hue would have been rich and pronounced, appropriate for the frightful theme and its high placement along the roof of a temple. The Gorgon functioned as a protective symbol and thus was an appropriate decoration for sacred architecture.
Alexander, Christine. 1940. "Two Greek Terracottas." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 35(5): p. 107, fig. 1.

Alexander, Christine. 1940. "An Antefix and a Hekataion Recently Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art." American Journal of Archaeology: The Journal of the Archaeological Institute of America, 44(3): p. 293, fig. 1.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1949. Archaic Greek Art Against Its Historical Background; A Survey. p. 128, fig. 208, New York: Oxford University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 30 n. 13, 179, pl. 19f, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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