8 June 2004
A GREEK TERRACOTTA SIREN
CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 4TH CENTURY B.C.
The monster with the head and torso of a woman merging with the legs, tail and wings of a bird, depicted standing on an integral plinth, her wings outstretched, her tail fanning below, holding a kithara in her lowered left hand, her bent right arm raised, wearing a short chiton draped over her left shoulder, exposing her right breast, her long wavy hair center parted, with portions gathered into a top-knot secured by a fillet, four tresses falling to her shoulders, preserving extensive polychromy over white slip throughout
15¾ in. (40 cm.) high
with Jean Mikas, Paris, 1950s.
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In Greek mythology Sirens are known for enticing sailors to their destruction with the alluring charm of their song. For related examples of Sirens playing instruments see nos. 102-104 in Hofstetter, "Seirenes" in LIMC.
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