Terracotta painted gorgoneion antefix (roof tile)

Greek, South Italian, Tarentine

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.

Terracotta painted gorgoneion antefix (roof tile), Terracotta, paint, Greek, South Italian, Tarentine

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