Statuette of a Dancer

Object Details


Statuette of a Dancer




Greek (South Italian, Tarantine)


Tarentum (Taras), South Italy (Place Created)


400–200 B.C.


Terracotta with white slip (white lead) and polychromy: pink (face), light blue and turquoise (leaves of the wreath), purple (hair), violet (himation and chiton), and white (clothing and face), on white slip (white lead).

Object Number:



23.7 × 10.4 × 8.8 cm (9 5/16 × 4 1/8 × 3 7/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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The female dancer’s left arm draws back her himation across her left hip while her right arm holds folds of the garment in front of her petit, elongated body. She extends her left leg forward; her lowered head turns toward her left. The long chiton flows to her feet while the himation wraps softly around her body, falling from her left hand in zigzag folds; the fluttering of fabric at her feet suggests the movement of the dance. The face has delicate features with large spherical earrings, and the melon-style hairdo features a tall, round bun and a wreath decorated with ivy and two small fruits. The dancer’s ivy wreath associates her with the realm of Dionysos. Dionysian imagery played a dominant role in the Tarentine funerary iconography of the fourth and third centuries B.C. Head and body were made with two bivalve molds; the back features an oval vent hole; there is a small hole where the statuette would have attached to a base.The statuette was examined under polarized light microscopy (PLM) and XRF. The blue was identified as Egyptian blue and the white as white lead. There is no indication of modern repainting.

by 1994 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.


True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), p. 354, cat. no. 221.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 67.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 117.

Ferruzza, Maria Lucia. Ancient Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily in the J. Paul Getty Museum. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016), no. 30, ill.