Votive head for architectural decoration

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The Archaic Period in Greek sculpture was characterised by a certain solemnity in the art and a clear conceptual idealization differing from the balanced naturalism of the Classical Age. It was also the time when Greek sculpture drew from Asiatic and Egyptian sources, and attained a level of art of great formal complexity and aesthetic quality which started out from a practically aniconic culture. In this period, however, the human figure is the protagonist in Greek sculpture. What was attempted was not so much the representation of the human form as the material expression of an ideal, either of a concept or a deity. We therefore find stylized representations, more divine than earthly, showing simple modelling which does not bother with superficial details, based on geometry and symbolic conventions, such as the type of smile that we can observe on this piece of terracotta.

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