The Freud Museum

Figure of a Woman

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3925, Figure of a Woman, Hellenistic Period; c. 300-250 B.C.

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Greek; from Tanagra
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: h. 6 in / 15.5 cm

This figurine represents one of the many small statues found in domestic settings, sanctuaries and graves at Tanagra, a Greek city that flourished in the fourth and third centuries B.C. Such figures were mass produced, but are still important because they give insight into daily life and demonstrate Hellenistic interest in individualism rather than idealism.

This statuette was made using a two piece mould, and the base was produced separately. The woman holds a fan and wears a sunhat, clearly prepared for the Mediterranean sun.

Standing women formed a great part of the Tanagran repertoire. The standard female dress of the period is narrower and simplifier than the earlier Archaic-style dress. The sleeves are short or non-existent, there is a deep v-neck, and the girdle is immediately below the breasts rather than at the waist. The garment is referred to as a chiton and is usually worn with a cloak over. Garments were originally painted bright colours, blue and purplish pink being especially popular. Some women, such as this figure, wear broad conical hats

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