Terracotta vase in the form of a phallus


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154

This unusual vessel in the form of male genitalia was used to store oil, presumably of an erotic or medicinal nature. Lines of black glaze meticulously applied to imitate pubic hair convey a surprisingly lifelike appearance. Similar pubic hair was once painted on the marble kouros nearby, indicating that even in large-scale sculpture it was not uncommon for details of the male body to be depicted in paint.

Terracotta vase in the form of a phallus, Terracotta, Greek

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