Gorgon Plaque with Incised Figure of a Dancing Satyr

Gorgon Plaque with Incised Figure of a Dancing Satyr

c. 525-475 BC

Terracotta

Overall: 6.7 x 6.7 cm (2 5/8 x 2 5/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1994.8

Fun Fact

This fearsome gorgon was a symbol of protection against evil and the unknown.

Description

This plaque, made in a Greek colony in South Italy, probably decorated the side of a coffin. The spirited dancing satyr is on the side of the plaque facing the coffin wall, visible only to the spirit of the deceased inside the coffin. The side of the plaque that faced out (look in the mirror) bears the head of the gorgon Medusa, a goddess who could kill with her gaze.

See also
Collection: 
GR - South Italy
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Terracotta

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