A Greek Terracotta Statue of a Lady of Fashion, ca. 4th century BCE
The graceful figure shown seated, her legs crossed at the ankle. Her slender form wears a long white chiton, the elegant drapery carefully modeled to reveal the shape of her body beneath a himation that artfully wraps about her. Her right arm is straight with the hand lightly placed on the seat; her right rests on her lap. In accordance with the canons of the fourth-century sculptor Lysippus, her head, modestly down, is small in relation to her body. Her serene oval face with full lips, classical nose, and graceful swan neck, her hair dressed in an elaborate melon coiffure swept back over the ears and bound in an elegant chignon at the back.
For similar examples see: R.A. Higgins, "Greek Terracottas", pages 101-104 and plates 42-45 and Chesterman, J. "Classical Terracotta Figures" (1974) pages 58 - 63. Chesterman writes "Tanagras are the flower of all terracottas, inasmuch as they are the most sought after of all periods and styles. The reason is not far to seek. They portray graceful girls or youths of great physical beauty standing or sitting in statuesque poses. The repertoire also includes woman playing knuckle bone (a popular Hellenistic game), Eros as a chubby infant and, occasionally, grotesques. Their conception was undoubtedly influenced by Praxiteles who was active in Athens between c. 370-330 BC and who had a studio also at Thespiae in Boeotia".
Condition: The figure is complete, the head professionally rejoined; there is a crack to the left arm, the left hand is missing, as is the bottom left corner of the base. There are small losses that run down the right side from shoulder to base. Much of the original white slip remains together with traces of the original blue to the dress. Good remaining red pigment to the face and hair. Just beautiful.
Dimensions: Height: 8 inches (20.3 cm)
Provenance: Acquired from Charles Ede Ltd., London, July 10, 1992. Ex. Collection of Bonnie O'Boyle, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.