A Large Greek Terracotta Persphone/Kore, ca 5th century BC

the goddess shown standing on an integral rectangular plinth, she wears a blue chiton and transverse himation that gently folds around her body, her feet emerging from below the hem, her right leg slightly bent.  In her left hand, she holds a long torch, her right hand is close to her breast, the fingers pinched.   On her head is a tall cylindrical polos, her scalloped curls fall from either side and flow over her shoulders, her oval face with wide almond-shaped eyes outlined in relief with thin arched brows above, her full lips pursed into a small, sweet smile. 

This piece is particularly interesting because it essentially blends two important themes in Greek art. One is certainly Persephone, goddess of vegetation and fertility, the other is the widely-represented kore; votive figures of young maidens that was used in a wide variety of worship and popular in the earlier Greek Archaic period. There are many theories on whom the kore figures represent specifically, and whether they represent mortals or deities. One theory being they represent Persephone, the daughter in the triad of the Mother Goddess cults. Thus, the similarity in naming is not necessarily a coincidence; representative of the intentional merging of these two subjects. 

The fragrant summer blooms can never last
And so I descend from the verdant land
A chilling echo from my silent past
A just war fought just for my slight soft hand

The land where sulfurous twining rivers flow
A palace built on martyrs’ holy bones
No hint of life or sun does ever show
My muted realm, my fabled, haunted home

A land where mortals fear their earthly tomb
That shines with wealth and riches yet unseen
And halls where death forever waits and looms
And holds all secrets that have come or been

And though this life I would not thought to choose
It’s not a life I ever wish to loose

Sarah Huffman "The Return of Persephone" from Dia Vitae


Condition:  Complete, with wonderful remaining polychrome of white (overall), blue (garments) and red (hair and base).

Dimensions: Height: 13 inches (33 cm), Base Dimensions: 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) x 3 inches (7.6 cm)

Provenance:  Private Australian collection, acquired from the Museum of Classical Antiquities in 1976, and  previously in the museum collection from the early 1950s.


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