Terracotta head of a woman, probably a sphinx


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 157

Terracotta sculpture of large scale and high quality is rare in Greek art of the mainland as against that of southern Italy, for example. The proportions and the break at the neck suggest that this exceptionally fine head belonged to a sphinx, possibly the akroterion of a small building. (Akroteria decorated the apex and corners of roofs.) Of particular interest also is the way polychromy is used for such details as the earrings and the headband.

Terracotta head of a woman, probably a sphinx, Terracotta, Greek

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