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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Apulian : Apulian Red-Figure Dish
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Apulian Red-Figure Dish - PF.2588
Origin: Magna Graecia
Circa: 400 BC to 300 BC
Dimensions: 1.5" (3.8cm) high x 6.125" (15.6cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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Created in the eastern Greek colony of Magna Graecia (the pre-Roman name for southern Italy) known in antiquity as Apulia, this beautiful, shallow, ring-base dish reveals the extraordinary artistic sensibilities of the western Greeks, for it reflects their successful assimilation of the native Greek artistic styles with the local, non- Greek artistic tastes and techniques. The portrait of a woman as a form of ceramic decoration was quite popular in this region of Italy during the 4th century B.C., and this painted dish is an extraordinary example of such works. Here, we see the stunning rendition of a woman’s head, the high quality of drawing readily appreciated as we observe the rendering of her subtle facial features and adornments. In her hair, she wears a saccos, the characteristic cloth head cover worn during this era, and a stephane, or wreath. A delicate earring adorns her ear while a dotted necklace graces her neck. Modest painted designs on the dish serve to gently balance the composition, while a painted red band handsomely frames the overall scene. Although the ancient identity of this beautiful woman remains a mystery, we can perhaps imagine her as the goddess Aphrodite, waiting impatiently for her secret lover, Ares. Or maybe it is Persephone, about to bring her new lover Adonis to her palace. While our imagination delights at pondering the identity of the maiden, our aesthetic sensibilities stand in awe of the mastery evidenced in this magnificent work of ancient ceramic art. - (PF.2588)


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