Terra Cotta and Bronze Figurines

By: Dr. Eleanor E. Rambo

Originally Published in 1920

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Of ancient terra cottas in general it has most aptly been said that they are a peculiar phase of minor art, dealing with subjects picked out for amusement’s sake. The maker of terra cottas loved the dear common things of every-day life, the head of a child (case XXVIII, No. 42) (East Room), a pig (alcove D, case V, No. 8) (West Room), a child’s doll (case XXVIII, No. 47), (East Room). If a terra cotta represents a god, the god has put off his divinity to put on humanity (case XXVIII, No. 37), (East Room). A number of figurines of terra cotta and bronze are displayed in case V, in alcove D, (West Room). Of these several are conspicuous:

No. 1. A rhyton or drinking horn, ending in the forequarters of a horse.

No. 48. A Tanagra figurine representing a woman playing a double flute. Such figures were made in the late fourth century B.C. Kindred in style is No. 2.

No. 10. A Hellenistic grotesque.

Remarks made earlier on the differentiation of Greek from South Italian terra cottas hold true here. There is a vast amount of difference between No. 23, a head of pure Greek type of workmanship, and Nos. 14 or 18, which are South Italian work of very little later date.

Of the three bronzes here, No. 12 is interesting for the perfection of its preservation.

Cite This Article

Rambo, Dr. Eleanor E.. "Terra Cotta and Bronze Figurines." The Museum Journal XI, no. 2 (June, 1920): 47-47. Accessed June 25, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/journal/820/


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