Female Figure (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

ca. 700 BC-AD 300
red terracotta
probably Uttar Pradesh, India
Overall: 4 3/4 × 3 5/8 × 1 1/4 in. (12.07 × 9.21 × 3.18 cm)
Hand-molded clay figurines are among the most common works of art produced in ancient India. Many of these figurines represent females, sometimes with a bird or animal head. While their exact function is not known, it is such terra-cottas were most likely auspicious (lucky) objects associated with abundance and fertility. Though missing its legs and portions of its arms, this figurine combines a woman's body with a goat-like head. The earlobes are elongated, perhaps stretched from the weight of heavy earrings, and a hole in the headdress may have allowed the figurine to hang from a cord.
Protohistoric to Kushan periods
Semi-illegible writing on reverse, bottom edge of proper right thigh appears to be "kafu/r.19165". "V.M.F.A./Richmond" written on adhesive sticker on bottom of mount.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. M. Bryant
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 2, p. 84)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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