Hellenistic Terracotta Eros with Pigments

£ 450.00

A finely modelled Greek Hellenistic terracotta figure, depicting Eros playing a lyre. The figure is winged and garlanded, decorated in polychromatic pigment, which survives impressively intact. The garland and wings are coloured in white, whilst the body retains much of its original pale pink slip, emphasising the lively and youthful nature of the figure. Details have been added in deep pink and blue on the wings. Much of the original polychromatic pigment is remarkably intact.

Date: Circa 3rd century BC
Provenance: From the Ingrid McAlpine collection, 1939-2018, London and Epsom.
Condition: Fine, with some repaires and much original pigmentation still visible to the surface.


Product Code: GS-36
Category: Tags: ,

Eros, known as Cupid in Roman religion and mythology, was a popular subject for works of art of this size, owing to his association with love and affection. Statuary with surviving polychromy is rare from this period, due largely to the fragility of coloured slip or paint. Though the vast majority of Ancient Greek statues and statuettes would have been decorated in multiple colours, the fact that few survive with their original pigmentation has fuelled misconceptions which imagine Greek statues as plain and uncoloured. Thus, pieces such as this which retain much of their original polychromy, are of particular interest, as they reveal a glimpse of the true visual landscape of the Ancient Greek world.

To discover more about Eros’ iconography in Antiquity, please visit our relevant blog post: Eros’ Iconography in Classical Times.

Dimensions H 8 cm



Southern Europe

Roman Mythology


Greek Mythology