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Figurine of Aphrodite Playing with Eros

Tanagra

Late 4th century BC

Terracotta; h 18.5

The Hermitage possesses a celebrated collection of Tanagra terracottas, figurines of fired clay. Tanagra sculptors were called coraplasters (in Greek, cora -a girl, plastein - to sculpt), as they were particularly drawn to representing women. This statuette, showing Aphrodite amusing Eros with a whipping top, is unique in the collection of Classical terracottas - this is the only known copy of all the copies with such form. This sculpture illustrates a tendency towards genre sculpture which was characteristic of Hellenic art. The paint is so well-preserved that we can easily imagine how effective this figurine must have been originally.

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