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figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1924,0515.2

  • Description

    Terracotta figure of a woman standing with a child. The woman stands with her weight evenly distributed. She holds the baby in the crook of her left arm, while with her right hand she directs the nipple of her left breast into the baby's mouth. She wears a chiton and a himation, the latter pulled up over her head with the free end hanging down over her left arm and wrist. Under the hood of the himation, her hair is centrally parted and drawn back from ehr face, with a plain fillet. Her face is broad and heavy-looking, with a wide, flat nose. The hands are crudely modelled, with large and awkward fingers.
    Technique: back not modelled, circular vent, no base, open under.
    Clay: orange, fairly coarse.
    Decoration: white coating, yellow on woman's flesh, pinkish-redon that of baby, blue on chiton, red on woman's lips.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 3rdC BC-2ndC BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 17 centimetres
    • Width: 5.8 centimetres
    • Weight: 179 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Tc. Cat.
    Although the worn state of the figure makes it difficult to be certain what she originally looked like, the non-idealised appearance of the face suggests the possibility that she is intended to represent a nurse rather than a divine kourotrophos figure of the type popular in Cyprus in earlier eras. The question of kourotrophos figures in Hellenistic Cyprus has been discussed by Queyrel, who concludes that unlike their predecessors they no longer directly represent the Great Goddess, although doubtless her memory lingers on in them. Figures of women actually feeding infants, like this one, are in any case more rare than those of women carrying children, like Terracotta 2891; only one example of a woman feeding a baby was found at Amathus. Although found in many parts of the Hellenistic world, the subject is perhaps most popular in Egypt, where it derives from images of the goddess Isis.

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  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 2888 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2010-2012 20 Oct-9 Dec, Luton, Wardown Park, Ancient Greeks

  • Condition

    Damage to head and drapery, generally worn.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1924

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1924,0515.2

Terracotta figure of a woman standing with a child. The woman stands with her weight evenly distributed. She holds the baby in the crook of her left arm, while with her right hand she directs the nipple of her left breast into the baby's mouth. She wears

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Object reference number: GAA85122

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