All Greek sculptural production was originally polychrome. Few examples of statues and statuettes have come down to modern times in their original condition with their polychromy intact. This figurine is a perfect example of how statuettes of this type used to appear in Ancient Greece. The attribute of the lyre indicates that this figure may be divine. In Ancient Greek culture and mythology the lyre was usually associated with Hermes and Apollo. Eros and the Muses were also depicted at times with the lyre. This particular musical instrument was also played at symposia, as part of certain religious festivals, and may have been played during celebration. Either way, the lyre appears either to delineate this figure as divine, or celebrating the divine.
To discover more about the use of colour in Ancient Greek sculptures, please visit our relevant post: Polychromy in Ancient Greek Sculptural Production
Greek Terracotta Statuette with Polychromy
An Attic hollow moulded terracotta statuette of a standing nude young male. The figure is shown standing on a pedestal, wearing a long drape upon his shoulders. The figure’s hands are held down straight by his sides, while holding a lyre on his left hand. The facial features, hair and anatomical details are finely crafted. The original pink pigment is still visible on the figure’s body and face.