Seymour Weintraub (Los Angeles, California), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975.
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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 109, Mythological Heroes
South Italian (Campanian)
550 - 500 B.C.
Terracotta with polychromy
26.2 x 39.1 cm (10 5/16 x 15 3/8 in.)
Gift of Seymour Weintraub
The head of a monstrous gorgon forms this fragmentary
Originally, the gorgon's head was framed by a sort of shell that is now mostly broken away. This feature, however, allows scholars to locate where this antefix was made and when. The shell framing element is a Campanian creation that begins around 550 B.C. Many Greek ideas, like the gorgon and the antefix, were adopted and modified by native artists in central Italy. Campania lay in the middle of the two major powers in Italy at this time--the Etruscans to the north, and the Greek colonies to the south--and had artistic connections with both. The relatively short, flat shape of the grooves in the shell indicates that this antefix probably dates to the period from 550 to 500 B.C.