Tanagra

DEFINITION

A community in Greece north of Athens, it was known in antiquity, 4th century B.C., for its mass produced, mold cast terracotta figurines. French sculptor Pierre Lefaguays (1892-1925) was much influenced by Tanagra figurines. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanagra; AskART biography<br><br>In ancient Greek art, a figurine of fired clay. Although these small-scale statues were first made in Athens and were soon being fabricated through out the Mediterranean world, they take their name from Tanagra, an ancient city in Boeotia, the region north of Attica, where great numbers were illicitly removed from tombs in the early 1870s. Tanagra sculptors were called coraplasters (in Greek, cora is a girl, plastein means to sculpt), as they were particularly drawn to representing women. Nearly all of the earlier figurines represented deities. The majority of Tanagras portray fashionable women or girls elegantly wrapped in thin himatia, often wearing large sun hats, and holding wreaths or fans. While most stand gracefully, some are seated or playing games. A number of boys are represented and Aphrodite and Eros appear as well. Many of these figurines have been discovered in private dwellings. Like other figurines found in houses, they probably had a religious purpose and were placed in domestic shrines. They were also dedicated in sanctuaries and placed in tombs. Up to a dozen statuettes were found in some graves at Tanagra.

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