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Incense Burner Supported by Nike
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Unknown
Greek, Taras, South Italy, about 500 - 480 B.C.
Terracotta and pigment
17 9/16 x 2 3/4 in.
86.AD.681

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Nike, the winged goddess of victory, forms the support of this thymiaterion or incense burner. A bird surmounts the openwork lid of the incense bowl. The goddess gestures with her right hand, while pulling her garment to the side with her left. This Nike's pose and costume are identical with contemporary large-scale marble statues of women known as korai. Although terracotta sculpture is found in mainland Greece, artists in the Greek colonies in South Italy, where this piece was made, used clay with greater frequency and often on a larger scale, because there were few sources of good stone suitable for sculpting.

The thymiaterion, originally brightly colored, still retains traces of pink, red, and blue paint. Since the inside of the bowl shows no signs of burning, the piece may have been put in a tomb without ever being used.

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Face and wings


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Full back


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