Boy with a goose

A terracotta figure from a mould representing a boy mounted on a goose. The facial features of the in fact are well defined. He has long, curly hair held by a thick diadem. He is only partly covered by a cape which hangs down his back and over his shoulders. His plump naked body can be seen with belly and solid legs: the classic image of a child in Greek art.

In contrast, while the basic details of beak, eyes and wings of the goose are present, they are not worked in great detail. The webbed feet on the goose are fused with the semi-globular base without any clear detail of these feet observable.

The animal is in profile, while the boy mounted on its back is looking toward the viewer. His attitude is serene, holding solidly onto the goose with the left hand and twisting its neck a little backwards.

This type of sculpture was common in Alexandria during Greek domination. Many show the child god Harpocrates sitting on the back of geese or other birds. In Greek colonies in the south of Italy figures of children mounted on animals were also produced. Other parallels can be seen in the representation of the myth of Europa. These were produced to be placed in tombs as part of the grave goods, accompanying other pieces of different types and sizes.

This piece of sculpture comes from the zone around the city of Gnatia, in the region of Apulia in the south of Italy, where the Daunias lived, coinciding with the provinces of Foggia and Messapia, in the southern part of the region. From 320 BC on, Athens stopped exporting pottery, only producing some vases that were handed to athletes as prizes in the Panathenaic Games. The pottery produced in the Greek colonies in the Italian peninsula took the place of the Greek ware in the Mediterranean market.


- BESQUES, S. Catalogue Raisonné des figurines et relief en terre cuite grecs, étrusques et romaines. Vol. IV. 1986. Nº D3672.
- HIGGINS, R.A. Greek Terracottas. Methuen & Co LTD. 1967.

Related works of art

diosa isis godess osiris bronze ancient egiptian antiguo egipto j bagot arqueologia
Figure of God Ares or Mars
amuleto falico alas romano falic amulet roman bronze j bagot arqueologia
spinario_espinario_espina_roman marble_marmol romano_ historia del arte

Consell de Cent, 278
08007 Barcelona SPAIN
(+34) 93 140 53 26

Monday - Saturday
10h to 14h
16:30h to 20:00h

Uso de cookies

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de cookies, pinche el enlace para mayor información.plugin cookies

Aviso de cookies