Private Collection [sold, Fine Antiquities, Christie's, London, July 8, 1992, lot 121, to Charles Ede.]
Charles Ede, Ltd. (London, England)
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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 109, The Greeks in Southern Italy and Sicily
Statuette of a Seated Comic Actor
Greek (South Italian, Tarantine)
Apulia, South Italy (Place Created)
Terracotta with white slip
10.3 × 4.1 × 6.4 cm (4 1/16 × 1 5/8 × 2 1/2 in.)
Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman
This theatrical character is depicted sitting with his legs crossed, right arm folded under his chest, and left hand propped beneath his chin in a pose of reflection; the original seat is missing. The figure wears a short tunic with sleeves and belt, a short cloak, a section of which hangs below the left shoulder, and T-strap sandals. The face is broad; the eyebrows are prominent and asymmetrical and join at the middle of the forehead, creased by wrinkles; the snub nose has a broad base. The mustache and short beard form a trumpet shape around the wide-open mouth, whose lips and gums are visible. The hair is arranged into a speira, a compact, rolled style around the face and temples. This figure depicts the leading slave (hegemòn therapon), a key character of New Comedy and a protagonist in amorous intrigues, often described and portrayed in lively, mocking poses.
Christie's, London. Sale cat., Fine Antiquities. July 8, 1992, lot 121.
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), pp. 234-35, cat. no. 117.
"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 67.
Spivey, Nigel and Squire, Michael. Panorama of the Classical World (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2004), p. 266, fig. 419.