Height: 26.000 cm
GR 1895.10-29.7 (Terracotta C 7)
Room 22: Alexander the Great
Terracotta 'Tanagra' figure of a woman
Greek, 3rd-2nd century
From Corinth, Greece
Tanagra figures are named after the site in Boeotia, central Greece, where thousands of figures similar to this were unearthed in the early 1870s.Important differences from other figures indicate that this example was made not at Tanagra but in Corinth.
The deeply textured surface of the hair provides one clue. This texture could not have been achieved purely in a mould, and it is clear that it has been 're-touched' with a knife after moulding, while the clay was still soft. This technique is characteristic of Corinthian work. The appearance of the clay is also very different from that of most 'Tanagra' figures; its fine texture, yellowish tone and smooth, polished surface are again typical of Corinth. Moreover, a fragment of an identical figure was discovered in American excavations at Corinth. None of this, however, offers conclusive proof that this figure was definitely made there. The clays of one site can vary considerably in appearance, the 're-touch' was employed at times elsewhere, and the use of moulds meant that apparently identical figures could be made in widely separate areas of the Hellenistic world.
was able to provide a definitive answer.
M. Hughes, 'Tracing to source' in Science and the past-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990), pp. 99-116