Thymiaterion Supported by a Statuette of Nike

500-475 BC

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Object Details

Catalogue Number 53
Inventory Number 86.AD.681
Typology Thymiaterion
Location Sicily
Dimensions H: 44.6 cm; D (incense cup): 7 cm


Light beige (Munsell 10 yr 8/3) with extremely small and diffuse reflective inclusions, and a friable consistency. The polychromy is overlaid on a layer of white slip: red (himation, lower part of chiton, stephane [wreath], chiton, dove’s and figure’s wings, both front and back); dark blue (chiton, upper section of the torso, dove, stephane); and black (background of the wings).

The statuette was made from two molds, one for the body and one for the head, while the wings, the arms, the thymiaterion with the dove, and a number of other details, such as the band around the torso and the hems of the himation and the drapery, were applied before firing. The folds of the chiton and the himation were also applied into the fresh clay. The work of defining the details of the figure was done by hand and with the use of an instrument.


The figure was reassembled from thirteen fragments, the censer from nine fragments: the thumb on the right hand, the left hand, the left wing of the dove, the hem of the himation on the figure’s right side, and part of the base are all missing. A small gap can also be identified on the sleeves; the sides of the himation are broken. The polychromy is worn away in many points.


– 1986, Robin Symes (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986.


Acquisitions 1986, pp. 159–60, no. 5; I. G. Fernandez, “J. Paul Getty Museum,” Revista de Arquelogia 115 (1990), pp. 48–56, illus. p. 52; Getty 1991, p. 40; E. Towne Markus, Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities (Los Angeles, 1997), frontispiece; p. 79; Zaccagnino 1998, p. 195; Getty 2002, p. 114; Getty 2007, p. 22, illus.; Getty 2010, p. 112; D. Sacks, Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World (New York, 2005) p. 225, illus.; Lyons, Bennett, and Marconi 2013, pp. 187–88, fig. 127; Getty 2015, p. 25.


The female figure is standing; she must originally have stood on a base that has since been lost. The left leg is extended forward and the right arm is raised, the palm of the hand, with notably elongated fingers, turned toward the viewer. The left arm, which is slightly bent, extends down parallel to the body; the left hand gathers the paryphe (woven border) of the chiton. The figure’s long, clinging chiton has sleeves fastened at the elbow with circular clasps; it ruffles across the torso in small, delicate folds. Above the chiton, crosswise, lies a red himation, which falls between the breasts and drapes down the right side in a long strip; part of it is now lost. A good portion of the drapery covers the right half of the torso and, owing to the raised arm, falls in a curve that appears a bit incongruous; a strip of dark blue adorns the hem of the chiton and runs sideways across the torso. The folds of the chiton, in the lower half of the body, are indicated by means of fine radial incisions that converge toward the clutching hand.1

The hairstyle consists of four rows of small globular curls, arranged in an arc across the forehead (a fine clay border sticks out from the first row of ringlets); they fall on either side of the neck in two compact masses. Set atop the head is a stephane with a semicircular border, which accords perfectly with the regular oval of the face and the curving line of the hairstyle. The gently smiling face is broad; the cheekbones are emphasized, the chin is full and slightly jutting; the mouth is broad and well designed with fleshy lips; the nose is wide at the base, with a flat dorsal ridge. The eyes are almond-shaped, without any indication of iris; they are elongated, and the superciliary arches, regular and highlighted in relief, merge directly with the root of the nose.

The broad sickle-shaped wings are inserted directly into the back. They rise over the figure on each side, and the various layers of feathers, arranged in a fan shape, were chromatically punctuated by red pigment against a black background; these colors are now largely lost. The back of the statue is sketchily modeled, with an indication of buttocks, but it too must originally have been painted, as shown by the traces of pigment on wings and buttocks.2

Supported by the female figure, the thymiaterion rests on a short, tubular base atop the stephane. It is composed of a low bowl, turned on a potter’s wheel, with a vertical lip, covered with a tall, bell-shaped lid that is perforated with a line of seven lozenge-shaped openings; above these are four smaller circular openings. A hand-modeled dove with a fan-shaped tail and spread wings forms the handle of the lid.

The female figure that supports the thymiaterion is Nike, the deity who consecrates victory in athletic, musical, poetic, and military competitions and who officiates at sacrificial rites. She is here depicted in keeping with the typology of the Late Archaic korai.3

The origin of the thymiaterion and of the custom of burning incense in sacred rituals can be sought in the East. With the spread of orientalizing fashions from the Near East, both the custom and its related objects became more common in the Greek world, probably through the mediation of Cyprus. In the West, censing is documented both in funerary and votive deposits, particularly those correlated with the chthonic religious context and the worship of Aphrodite.4

The caryatid-style thymiaterion, in particular, is documented from the end of the eighth century BC, both in the eastern regions and in Greece.5 It was between the sixth and the fifth century BC that this type of thymiaterion seems to have spread most extensively. Generally, the figure holds the cup directly on its head or on a tall support. The arms are brought forward, sometimes bearing a votive object; this compositional solution conferred greater lightness on the whole, as attested as well by a number of examples in bronze, from Delphi, Sicyon, Sparta, and, in the West, from the Etruscan territory (especially the Vulci area) and from Magna Graecia.6

Terracotta caryatid thymiateria may have been derived from metal prototypes; this is suggested by comparison with the korai or Nikai figures utilized as mirror handles and in candelabra, widespread in Greece, Magna Graecia, Sicily, and especially Etruria in the sixth and fifth centuries BC.7 Particularly, a figure topping a candelabrum dating from the end of the sixth century BC offers a useful comparison for the Getty’s Nike in the pose, the gesture of the hand, the clothing, and the general configuration.8

For the present Nike, the reliance upon a metal prototype is attested in part by the shape of the censer and above all by the cover, with its lozenge-shaped fretwork designed to allow the aromatic smoke to escape; this type was probably borrowed from the eastern Aegean and is also found in Greece, Magna Graecia, and Sicily.9 The rigidity of the treatment of the textile folds, which are flattened and clinging to the body, and the sickle-shaped wings are also found in small bronzes depicting sphinxes and Gorgons; this too suggests the possible derivation from metal prototypes for the Getty’s figure.10 Two terracotta pieces from Sicily offer significant comparisons: a thymiaterion kore, datable to 520 BC, comes from a pithos that was destroyed by the foundations of a wall on the Acropolis of Gela (it may have belonged to a sacred building). This kore is depicted with a chiton poderes (reaching the feet) and a short transverse himation, and its head supports a cup with bobbin handles. The second piece, dating from 530 BC, and now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, is from an unknown archaeological context but may also be assignable to Gela: it stands on a rectangular base, bears a flower on its breast, and carries on its head a cup, only the bottom of which is preserved.11

Also in Selinunte, and in particular in the Malophoros Sanctuary, there are probably attestations of terracotta caryatid-style thymiateria: a number of examples of korai, datable to around 530–520 BC, hold on their heads containers that may be censers.12

The motif of the bird used as a cover handle is fairly common. It is found, for instance, in a silver thymiaterion, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, datable to the end of the sixth century BC; it is also attested during the same period in a number of types of bucchero hydriai and oinochoai with dome covers. Doves were also used extensively on Etruscan thymiateria of the Hellenistic period.13

The dove, a bird sacred to Aphrodite, can by transference accompany other deities as well and can allude to love and the fleeting nature of life, especially when it is present in funerary contexts. In Magna Graecia and Sicily, dove figurines are more commonly found in connection with the chthonic and funerary sphere, as attested, for example, by a number of examples from Agrigento.14

Within the typology of caryatid-shaped thymiateria, the figures of korai seem to prevail in the Late Archaic period; they are also depicted in the type of the peplophoros bearing an offering, but images of Nike are more rare.15

As the officiating deity and guarantor of the rites following a victory, Nike with her thymiaterion appears frequently in Attic red-figure vase-painting of the period between 490 and 460 BC, where she is also depicted with other attributes linked to the cult or chthonic sphere, such as phialai, paterae, oinochoai, or torches. In particular, Nike with thymiaterion became a favorite subject of the Berlin Painter and the Pan Painter and his circle, who painted numerous lekythoi intended for Sicilian markets.16

The connection of Nike with the thymiaterion is also documented in Apulian vase-painting from the fourth century BC; for the entire Hellenistic period, the Nike was a common iconographic motif in the decorative repertory of jewels, ceramics, and terracottas. Shortly after the middle of the fourth century BC, Athenian sources mention a thymiaterion dedicated to Athena Nike.17

From the Late Archaic period onward, images of winged figures became increasingly more common, both in Greece and in the West, especially in architectonic decoration.18

Numerous fragments of terracotta statues of Nikai from the Late Archaic period have been discovered at Olympia, some of which were mounted as acroteria on buildings located on the terrace of the thesauroi (treasuries). These fragments constitute significant evidence of the diffusion in this context of the winged figure in a particular stance—running and about to take off from the earth—that would come to represent a visual and conceptual link between the terrestrial and the divine spheres. Olympia, the city that symbolized athletic competition, had a special relationship with Nike: Pausanias stated that there was an altar dedicated to the winged goddess there, and she was depicted on the staters of Elis, where Olympia is situated, in 490 BC.19

During the same period, in the Greek West as well, the image of Nike was widely used in architectural decoration. Among the numerous examples are the fragmentary sima from Paestum; a Nike acroterion from Locri; the fragmentary statue in Karlsruhe bought on the antiquities market and tentatively assigned to either Gela or Camarina; the statue of Nike from the Syracusan Athenaion; and two terracotta Nike acroteria from Taranto, all belonging to the Late Archaic period (first half of the fifth century BC).20 From a votive deposit on the Acropolis of Gela, close to the Athenaion, comes a fragmentary bust in terracotta with a garment decorated with a rosette and meander motif; due to the musculature and the attachment of the shoulders, it could be identified as a Nike. Another Nike dressed in a short chiton and a himation appears in relief on a fragment of architectural decoration, now in Copenhagen and perhaps originally from Taranto.21

The winged figure is recurrent in the coin types of Catania, Syracuse, Gela, and Camarina. In the last-named colony, possibly beginning in 461 BC, silver litrae were minted showing a winged figure with her right hand raised and the left hand gathering her clothing, in accordance with iconography previously seen in vase-painting.22 In Syracuse, the mother city of Camarina, Nike also appears on tetradrachms that can be dated to 480 BC. On these coins, as well as on late fifth-century BC decadrachms signed by Euainetos and Kimon, and Catanian tetradrachms dating after 480 BC, she holds a crown of laurel aloft above a chariot. In tetradrachms from Gela dating to 440–430 BC, a flying Nike crowns a man-headed bull.23

The Nike image, which, as noted, became increasingly common both in Greece and in the West, especially during the first half of the fifth century BC (and in particular following the Battle of Marathon), has been interpreted not only as a potent emblem of victory but as evoking the very presence of the deity on a battlefield or in an athletic contest. From a historical and political perspective, therefore, the journey of the image of Nike offers interesting insight into the determination to import into the West a message of Athenian triumph over the Persians, which in Sicily came to correspond with victory of the Greeks over the Punic element. Thus the winged figure could come to acquire a specific programmatic and ideological value, an eloquent image to seal the affiliation of the colonial cities with the Greek identity, of which Athens constituted in those years the highest expression.24 Even Nike’s pose should be seen as connected with her role as a messenger of salvation and celebrant of victory: in vase-painting and in coins, in addition to being depicted in flight or running in a distinctive backward-looking pose, Nike most often shows her arm raised in a gesture of salutation or identifies the victor in an athletic contest.25

Stylistically, in general composition, in the type of clothing, and in the treatment of the hairstyle, the Getty figure echoes the type of the Attic kore dating from the Late Archaic period, which is extensively documented in the coroplastic art of Sicily, though the type of flat, curved wings is an Archaic reminiscence.26

It is in the last third of the sixth century BC that Attic-derived stylistic tendencies began to spread to Sicily in the coroplastic production, perhaps through imported molds or by the emigration of artists and coroplasts of Attic origin. In this period, in fact, the Siceliote workshops related to the Siceliote poleis had already elaborated specific and distinctive connotations though the assimilation of the stylistic influence from the Greek world, especially from Attica. Within this dynamic production, the coroplasts found their most vital and original life force in these relationships, by turns resistant and receptive, between the foreign models on the one hand and local contributions on the other.27 Close comparisons for the Getty Nike can be found in Selinunte, where a number of statuettes of korai from the Malophoros Sanctuary, dating from between the sixth and fifth centuries BC, attest the same typology and comparable iconographic details, such as the long, narrow chiton with the lower hem draping between the feet; the use of an incised line for the rendering of the folds; the pleated effect of the chiton folds on the torso; the flat transverse hem of the himation; the long fold that falls along the right hip; and the modeled back section. The facial type, too—characterized by the full oval shape and the soft, continuous surface, with almond-shaped eyes; broad, arched eyebrows; a wide nose; and elongated, distinct lips—associated with a hairstyle consisting of dense, small ringlets, seems to have been used in Selinunte for various types of statuettes from the same period. In particular, the bulbous eyes, without distinction from the eyelids (here endowed with a regular almond shape), was already an iconographic peculiarity of sculpture in Sicily from the Archaic period.28 In Sicily, this type of face, which seems to mark a transition from the Archaic style toward the Severe style, also became more widespread in the broader southern area extending between Gela, Agrigento, and Camarina. The type may have been elaborated from an Attic model introduced as part of the intense cultural and economic exchange between Attica and this area. Some comparisons can be detected at Gela in the structure of the face and the hairstyle; in these it bears resemblance to the figure of Eos in a scene with Kephalos, on the altar found in Bosco Littorio near the Archaic emporium at the foot of Gela’s Acropolis and datable between 490 and 480 BC.29 The full, fleshy face of the Nike can also be compared to the protome of the “Blank Eye Type” (according to Uhlenbrock’s classification), identified particularly with the Gela area in the last quarter of the sixth century BC and characterized by similar features, though there it was combined with a different treatment of the hairstyle and headdress.30 Also comparable is a protome in the Museo Civico Castello Ursino in Catania, dating from between 530 and 520 BC and assignable to Camarina, though the facial features reflect a distinct Ionian inspiration. One can see the assimilation of Attic influence in the regular, slightly oblique eyes; the fluid outline of the face, slightly heavy in the chin; and the hairstyle with dense waves that almost form tiny spheres.31 This hairstyle can also be found in the Tarentine coroplastic production that, as early as the Archaic period, showed characteristics similar to production in a number of areas of Sicily.32 Another head of a statuette—assignable to the earliest phase of settlement in Castiglione (Ragusa), which fell under the sway of Camarina—is datable to the end of the sixth century BC. In the hairstyle, eye shape, treatment of the mouth, and continuous modeling, this head can be linked to the same formal tradition as the Castello Ursino protome, mentioned above.33

Some terracotta heads from Agrigento also clearly attest to a transformation of the formal and stylistic language within coroplastic production at the end of the sixth century BC, especially in the hairstyle and the soft, rounded rendering of the face, which is somewhat puffy; and in the elongation of the eyes, which are emphasized by the high superciliary arch. These features were characteristic of local production and remained constant over the course of the fifth century BC, in marble sculpture as well as terracotta.34

The same stylistic trend influenced by the Attic strain in the Sicilian artistic production is also traceable in the same period in some marble sculptures, in which the Ionic elements begin to diminish.35 The derivation of the thymiaterion Nike from an Attic model appears especially evident when looking at the head of a terracotta kore from the Athenian Acropolis, which has a very similar construction of the face and facial features, or the terracotta korai from the Kerameikos cemetery in Athens, dating back to the first decades of the fifth century BC and characterized by the same definition of the eyes, without eyelids.36

Also, a comparison with more sculptural models—such as the Athenian marble korai from the very early fifth century BC, characterized primarily by a sharp attenuation of the Ionian formal traits, identifiable as the almost horizontal orientation of the eyes, the faint smile, and the continuous line devoid of any accentuated chiaroscuro modulations—reiterates an intonation that is clearly analogous to that of the Getty Nike.37

The findings may be summarized as follows: (1) The Nike seems to be linked to a colonial setting that had, between the end of the sixth century and the first two decades of the fifth century BC, close, intense ties with Attica, such as Gela, Camarina, or Selinunte. (2) In stylistic terms, the characteristics of the face seem to be linked to a type of Attic influence found in the entire area from Selinunte in the east to Camarina in the west; the area of diffusion also included Agrigento and, especially, Gela.38 (3) Gela, in particular, between 500 and 470 BC appears to have been the prime recipient of Attic vases with depictions of Nike. The diffusion of these items was probably also linked to ideological and propagandistic factors and the marked interest in Atticism in the colony in the fifth century BC.

The lack of findspot greatly limits the frame of reference, particularly in regard to the significance of the object’s final resting place, whether funerary, domestic, or votive.39


  1. According to analysis by the Getty’s Antiquities Conservation Department, the form that appears to be a snake’s head coming out of the hem of the chiton across the bust is simply incrustation. It originated from root casing; there are a number of such “snakelike” casings all over the figure, which are hard to discern with the naked eye. 

  2. On the use of polychromy in statuary and the coroplastic art, see V. Manzelli, La policromia nella statuaria greca arcaica (Rome, 1994), pp. 135–36, 261, nos. 90–93, 207; on the polychromy of Archaic sculpture in particular, see V. Brinkmann, Die Polychromie der archaischen und frühklassischen Skulptur, Studien zur antiken Malerei und Farbgebung 5 (Munich, 2003). 

  3. On the iconography of Nike, see A. Moustaka, A. Goulaki-Voutira, and J. U. Grote, s.v. “Nike,” LIMC 6, pp. 850–904; for the figure of Nike in the fifth century BC, see C. Thöne, Ikonographische Studien zu Nike im 5. Jahrhundert v. Chr.: Untersuchungen zur Wirkungsweise und Wesenart (Heidelberg, 1999). 

  4. On the significance, use, and typologies of thymiateria in general, see Zaccagnino 1998; on the use of thymiateria in religious rituals, see I. Battiloro and M. Di Lieto, “Oggetti votivi e oggetti rituali: Terrecotte figurate e thymiateria nel statuario di Torre di Satriano,” in Nava and Osanna 2005, pp. 141–55. For Sicily and Magna Graecia, consider the fictile thymiateria found in the votive deposit of Francavilla di Sicilia and the one depicted in the type IX/I pinax from the same center, in Spigo 2000a, p. 47. See also the types found in Medma and dating from the first half of the fifth century BC in Zaccagnino 1998, pp. 142–44, cat. CT 111; for the diffusion of the thymiaterion in southern Italy, see Fabbricotti 1979, pp. 410–13. See also the thymiateria found in the necropoleis of Salamina in Cyprus, see V. Karageorghis, “Chronique des fouilles et découvertes archéologiques à Chypre en 1966,” Bulletin de Correspondence Hellénique (1967), pp. 275–370, esp. p. 286; Karageorghis, Excavation in the Necropolis of Salamis 2 (Nicosia, 1970), Tomb 23, no. 5, pl. B1; and Karageorghis, Excavation in the Necropolis of Salamina 3 (Nicosia, 1973), p. 119. 

  5. For the association of the figure of Nike with the typology of the caryatid-shaped thymiateria, see Zaccagnino 1998, pp. 87–88, 127–28, 140. For examples in terracotta from the Kerameikos cemetery in Athens, see, for instance, two weeping figures, with their hands raised to hold the cup, dated around 680–670 BC: Zaccagnino 1998, pp. 81–82, 192–93, cat. CT 159–61. 

  6. For Delphi, see Zaccagnino 1998, cat. CT 164, from the middle of the fifth century BC; for Sparta, see K. A. Neugebauer, Die Minoischen und archaisch Griechischen Bronzen, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Katalog der statuarischen Bronzen im Antiquarium 1 (Berlin, 1931), fig. 22, no. 162; for Sicyon, see the thymiaterion from 460–450 BC in S. Boucher, Bronzes grecs, hellénistiques, et étrusques (sardes, ibériques, et celtiques) du musées de Lyon (Lyon, 1970), pp. 28–31, fig. 12. For the Etruscan area, see G. Pianu et al., I bronzi etruschi e romani, Materiali del Museo archeologico nazionale di Tarquinia 13 (Rome, 1995), pp. 300–301; A. Hus, Les bronzes étrusques, Collection Latomus 139 (Brussels, 1975), pp. 88–90; and M. Gras, Trafics tyrrhéniens archaïques (Rome, 1985), pp. 680–81; see also the Etruscan candelabrum with winged figure from Ruvo del Monte in A. Bottini, “Il candelabro etrusco di Ruvo del Monte,” BdA 59 (1990), pp. 1–14. For Magna Graecia, see, for instance, the example from Locri from 480 BC, in Zaccagnino 1998, cat. CT 165. 

  7. In this connection, A. Naso, “Materiali etruschi e italici nell’Oriente Mediterraneo,” in AttiTaranto 39 (2000), pp. 165–85. For Nikai utilized as mirror supports in pieces from Greece, see Moustaka, Goulaki-Voutira, and Grote, “Nike,” nos. 43, 45–47.

    For the mirror handles from Magna Graecia, see I. Caruso, “Bronzetti di produzione magnogreca dal VI al IV secolo a.C.: La classe degli specchi,” RM 88 (1981), pp. 13–106, esp. examples “d6” and “d9”; see also the types configured as Nikai from Crotone, in U. Jantzen, Bronzewerkstatten in Grossgriechenland und Sizilien (Berlin, 1937), fig. 12, no. 46; fig. 18, nos. 71–72; fig. 19, nos. 75–78; fig. 20, nos. 79–81. For a bronze female figure, from the second half of the sixth century BC, from the necropolis in the Contrada Lucifero in Locri, see E. Lattanzi, ed., Il Museo nazionale di Reggio Calabria (Rome, 1987), p. 42. See also a mirror handle depicting a female deity with sphinxes, but perhaps of Tarentine manufacture, assignable to the Late Archaic period, in Orlandini 1983, fig. 389. 

  8. This candelabrum is without a documented findspot and has been partly reworked: see In Pursuit of the Absolute: Art of the Ancient World from the George Ortiz Collection, exh. cat. (London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1994), no. 124. 

  9. See Zaccagnino 1998, pp. 49–50, 83–84; and p. 78 for a type that dates back to Greece at the end of the sixth century and the beginning of the fifth century BC; for a similar censer from Crotone, see R. Spadea, “Il tesoro di Hera,” BdA 88 (1994), pp. 1–34, esp. p. 11, no. 7 fig. 12. For a similar thymiaterion cover from the sanctuary of Contrada Mannella at Locri, see V. Meirano, “Vasellame ed instrumentum metallico nelle aree sacre di Locri/Mannella, Hipponion/Scrimbia e Medma/Calderazzo: Note preliminari,” in Nava and Osanna 2005, pp. 43–53, fig. 3. Also from Medma are examples with a splayed foot supporting a basin or a plate, featuring a perforated cover; see P. Orsi, “Rosarno (Medma): Esplorazione di un grande deposito votivo di terrecotte ieratiche,” NSc, suppl. 1913 (1914), pp. 134–35, figs. 176–77. For Francavilla di Sicilia, see Spigo 2000a, n. 216. From Timmari comes a thymiaterion of the Hellenistic period with a bell-shaped cover and triangular fretwork, surmounted by a dove; see F. G. Lo Porto, Timmari: L’abitato, le necropoli, la stipe votiva (Rome, 1991), pl. LXXVIII, no. 227. For Athens, see B. A. Sparkes and L. Talcott, Black and Plain Pottery of the 6th, 5th, and 4th Centuries BC, The Athenian Agora 12 (Princeton, NJ, 1970), no. 1345, pl. 44. The shape is also reminiscent of a bronze bell type produced in the sixth century BC in Samos; see U. Jantzen, Ägyptische und orientalische Bronzen aus dem Heraion von Samos, Samos 8 (Bonn, 1972), pp. 80–85, B271; see also the silver thymiaterion with a bell cover from a tomb in Uşak (Asia Minor), from the beginning of the Achaemenid period, in M. J. Mellink, “Archaeology in Asia Minor,” AJA 71 (April 1967), pp. 155–74, pl. 59, figs. 20–21. 

  10. For other comparisons with terracotta caryatid thymiateria found in Magna Graecia and Sicily, see, for example, the wings of a small bronze sphinx from Capo Colonna (Crotone) characterized by a series of parallel ridges, like those painted on the wings of the Getty Nike, as well as the long fingers of the hand of a running Gorgon figure in Stibbe 2001, figs. 3, 5. Hands with tapered fingers can also be found in the horizontal handle attachments belonging to bronze hydriai, such as those from Trebeništa (Macedonia) or Paestum, in C. Rolley, Les vases du bronze de l’archaïsme récent en Grand-Grèce, Bibliothèque de l’Institut français de Naples, 2nd ser., 5 (Naples, 1982), pp. 83–85, pl. XXII, no. 109. See also the fictile Archaic thymiaterion from Taranto in F. G. Lo Porto, “Recenti scoperte di tombe arcaiche in Taranto,” BdA 46 (1961), pp. 268–82; and Fabbricotti 1979, pp. 410–13, esp. n. 59. 

  11. See P. Orlandini, “Kore fittile dall’Acropoli di Gela,” ArchCl 6 (1954), pp. 1–8; for the one now in Copenhagen, see Fischer-Hansen 1992, no. 29, pp. 64–65. 

  12. Gabrici 1927, pl. LV, no. 3; pl. LVII, no. 1. 

  13. See Zaccagnino 1998, cat. CT 8 (originally from Asia Minor); for examples from Asia Minor, see also, for instance, T. Monloup, Les figurines de terre cuite de tradition archaïque, Salamine de Chypre 12 (Paris, 1984), pp. 91–92; for examples from the Etruscan milieu, see L. Donati, “Vasi di bucchero decorati con teste plastiche umane (zona di Chiusi),” Studi Etruschi 36 (1968), pp. 319–56, esp. fig. 5a, pl. LXXVIIb–c; and A. Testa, Candelabri e thymiateria, Monumenti, musei e gallerie pontificie, Museo Gregoriano etrusco 2 (Rome, 1989), pp. 112–23 (from the Hellenistic period). From Sicily, see the bird-shaped handle in D. Pancucci, “Monte Bubbonia: Scavi nel quadriennio 1972–1975,” Kokalos 32–33 (1976–77), vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 470–78, pl. LV, no. 3. 

  14. De Miro 2000, p. 111, pl. CVI; on the relations between the dove and the sphere of Aphrodite, see B. Alroth, “Visiting Gods: Who and Why,” in Linders and Nordquist 1987, pp. 9–19, esp. p. 11. For the presence of the bird in the pinakes of Francavilla and Locri, see Spigo 2000a, p. 41. 

  15. Zaccagnino 1998, cat. FE 8b, pp. 56, 112. 

  16. For depictions of Nike with a thymiaterion in the vase-painting of the first half of the fifth century BC, see Zaccagnino 1998, pp. 87–88, 127; in particular, lekythoi RT 19 and RT 22 from Gela; for the presence and significance of Nike in the iconography of the red-figured Attic lekythoi intended for Gela, see R. R. Holloway, “Three Lekythoi by the Pan Painter in Providence,” in Archeologia del Mediterraneo 2003, pp. 401–4 and n. 26. 

  17. Zaccagnino 1998, pp. 113–14, cat. FE 21-22. 

  18. The image of Nike in acroterial decorations between the sixth century and the fifth century BC, was the result of a long evolution in the Ionic milieu. See C. Isler-Kerényi, Nike: Der Typus der laufenden Flügelfrau in archaischer Zeit (Zurich, 1969), esp. pp. 75–76, 114–15; see also Lonis 1979, pp. 246–47. 

  19. For the acroterial statues from Olympia, see A. Moustaka, Grossplastik aus Ton in Olympia, Olympische Forschungen 22 (Berlin, 1993), pp. 64–97, figs. 52–83. For the stone and terracotta acroteria depicting Nike, see P. Danner, Griechische Akrotere der archaischen und klassischen Zeit, RdA suppl. 5 (Rome, 1989), pp. 16–20; and C. Le Roy, Les terres cuites architecturales, Fouilles de Delphes (Paris, 1967), vol. 2: Topographie et architecture, pp. 234–40, for terracotta acroteria belonging to the Temple of Athena Marmaria dating from the end of the sixth century BC; for the coinage of Elis, see Lonis 1979, pp. 243–44. For the presence of a monument with a statue of Nike in Olympia in the fifth century BC and its historical meaning, see T. Hölscher, “La Nike dei Messeni e dei Naupatti a Olimpia: Arte e storia della fine del V secolo,” in E. La Rocca, ed., L’Esperimento della perfezione: Arte e società nell’Atene di Pericle (Milan, 1988), pp. 67–108. On the sculptural types from Greece relating to Nike, see Rolley 1994–99, vol. 1, pp. 187–88, 257–59; and A. Gulaki, Klassische und klassizistische Nikedarstellungen: Untersuchungen zur Typologie und zum Bedeutungswandel (Bonn, 1981), pp. 134–40. 

  20. For the fragment of a sima from Paestum, see Orlandini 1983, no. 396 (530–520 BC); C. Rolley, “La sculpture,” in AttiTaranto 39 (2000), pl. XIV, no. 1. For the acroterial Nike from Locri, see A. De Franciscis, “La Nike acroteriale da Locri Epizefiri,” in Aparchai 1982, vol. 1, pp. 22125. For the Nike of Karlsruhe, see F. Gilotta, “La Nike di Karlsruhe e un’ara di Gela,” Prospettiva 98–99 (2000), pp. 155–59, with bibliography; and F. Jurgeit, “Le vicende dell’acquisizione della Nike di Karlsruhe,” in Pelagatti and Guzzo 1997, pp. 47–51. For the Nike from the Athenaion of Syracuse, see Rizza and De Miro 1985, p. 228, fig. 244. For the Nikai from a Tarentine naiskos, see L. von Matt and U. Zanotti Bianco, Grossgriechenland (Zurich, 1961), figs. 186–87. 

  21. For the figure from the Acropolis of Gela, see B. Ferrara, “Acroteri a Gela alla luce delle nuove acquisizioni,” in Deliciae fictiles IV: Architectural Terracottas in Ancient Italy: Images of Gods, Monsters and Heroes: Proceedings of an International Conference held in Rome (Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Royal Netherlands Institute) and Syracuse (Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi), October 21–25, 2009, ed. P. Lulof and C. Rescigno (Oxford, 2011), pp. 464–76; and B. Ferrara, “Offerte votive dalla nuova stipe votiva sull’Acropoli,” in Panvini and Sole 2009, vol. 2, pp. 175–78. For the Nike in Copenhagen, see Fischer-Hansen 1992, no. 2, pp. 26–27. See also the Nike in relief on a terracotta altar from Gela, now in Kassel, datable to 500 BC, in P. Gercke, Funde aus der Antike: Sammlung Paul Dierichs, Kassel (Kassel, 1981), pp. 100–105. See also the female bust with attachment for wings from Megara Hyblaea in P. Orsi, “Megara Hyblea: Storia, topografia, necropoli e anathemata,” MonAnt 1 (1889), pp. 689–950, esp. coll. 931, no. 111, pl. VIII, no. 8. 

  22. For the coinage of Camarina, see U. Westermark and K. Jenkins, The Coinage of Kamarina (London, 1980), pp. 24–39. 

  23. For the coinage of Syracuse, see A. Stazio, “Monetazione ed economia monetaria,” in Sikanie 1985, pp. 108–19, nos. 17 (tetradrachm, second half of the fifth century BC), 20, 24. For the coinage of Catania, see Sikanie 1985, nos. 85–86; for Gela, see K. Jenkins, The Coinage of Gela (Berlin, 1970), pp. 58–59. 

  24. For the significance of Nike in Attic vase-painting, see F. Giudice, “Le divinità della ceramica attica in Magna Grecia,” I culti della Campania antica: Atti del convegno internazionale di studi in ricordo di Nazarena Valenza Mele, Napoli, 15–17 maggio 1995 (Rome, 1998), pp. 143–47; and F. Giudice, “Il viaggio delle immagini dall’Attica verso l’Occidente,” in Massa-Pairault 1999, pp. 267–327, esp. pp. 267–93. For the iconography and functions of the Attic red-figured vases in a social and cultural perspective, see M. Torelli, “Le ceramiche a figure rosse di Gela: Contributo alla costituzione del profilo culturale di una città,” in Ta Attika: Veder Greco a Gela: Ceramiche attiche figurate dell’antica colonia, ed. R. Panvini and F. Giudice (Rome, 2003), pp. 99–144, esp. pp. 99–107. 

  25. See, for instance, the red-figured lekythos in which Nike, in front of an altar, holds her garment with her right hand while raising her left arm, in J. D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters (Oxford, 1963), p. 697, no. 22 (at Bradford). 

  26. For the kore type and the influence of foreign models, see A. Pautasso, “L’età arcaica: Affermazione e sviluppo delle produzioni coloniali, in Albertocchi and Pautasso 2012, pp. 113–39, esp. p. 125ff. 

  27. For this theme, see Ferruzza 2013; Pautasso, “L’età arcaica”; and M. Albertocchi, “La coroplastica siceliota nella prima metà del V sec. a.C,” in Albertocchi and Pautasso 2012, pp. 143–61. 

  28. For Selinunte, see the examples in Gabrici 1927, pl. LV, nos. 2, 6, 6a, 7, and the sphinx, no. 8; and Dewailly 1992, pp. 55–61. For the type of the flat wing, see, for example, J.-P. Descoeudres, “Head-rest or Celery Holder?” in Zona archeologica: Festschrift für Hans Peter Isler zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. S. Buzzi (Zurich, 2002), pp. 111–14. 

  29. For the altar of Gela, see Catoni and Settis 2008, n. 21, with further bibliography, and for a stylistic analysis, see Gilotta, “La Nike di Karlsruhe.” See also the female head in the late Archaic style from the Lauricella necropolis, in P. Orsi, “Gela: Scavi del 1900–1905,” MonAnt 17 (1906), p. 307, fig. 226; two statuettes and a protome in the Museo archeologico regionale di Gela from the sanctuary of Bitalemi, inv. 20345, 23284, and 11072, datable to the second half of the fifth century BC; the fictile mold of a female deity, datable to the end of the sixth century BC, in R. Panvini, Gela: Il Museo archeologico: Catalogo (Gela, 1998), no. 67, p. 57; and the head belonging to a sphinx, assigned (with reservations) to Gela and datable to 520 BC, in Quarles van Ufford 1941, fig. 25, pp. 66, 91. See also the female figure, possibly Artemis, in the terracotta relief fragment at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, dating from the end of the sixth century BC, in C. E. Vaphopoulou-Richardson, Ancient Greek Terracottas, rev. ed. (Oxford, 1991), p. 20, no. 21. 

  30. See J. Uhlenbrock, The Terracotta Protomai from Gela: A Discussion of Local Style in Archaic Sicily (Rome, 1989), pp. 82–85, pl. 37a; see also Spagnolo 2000

  31. See A. Pautasso, ed., Terrecotte arcaiche e classiche del Museo civico di Castello Ursino a Catania (Palermo, 1996), no. 18; and the example from Camarina in F. Giudice, “La stipe di Persephone a Camarina,” MonAnt 49, Serie miscellanea, vol. 2, no. 4 (1979), no. 11, pl. V; see also the face of the Kore “Biscari,” originally from Camarina, in A. Pautasso, “La kore Biscari del Museo Civico di Catania e la coroplastica tardo-arcaica a Camarina,” Cronache di Archeologia 36 (1997), pp. 47–59. 

  32. For the Tarentine types, see Uhlenbrock, Terracotta Protomai, p. 121, pl. 51C; Herdejürgen 1982, pp. 27–28, no. 89, dating from about 500 BC; see also the hairstyle in a female protome from Timmari, dating from 520 BC, in Lo Porto, Timmari, pl. XXII. For affinity between Sicilian protomes and protomes from Locri, see Barra Bagnasco 1986, pp. 39–41. For ties between Sicily, especially Selinunte, and Magna Graecia in the Archaic period, see D. Mustilli, “Contatti fra la scultura arcaica della Sicilia e quella della Magna Grecia,” Kokalos 10–11 (1964–65), pp. 189–210. 

  33. See A. Di Vita, “Breve rassegna degli scavi archeologici condotti in provincia di Ragusa nel quadrennio 1955–1959,” reprinted in Di Vita, Da Siracusa a Mozia: Studi di archeologia siciliana (Padua, 1998), pp. 117–35, fig. 31a; and G. Di Stefano, Il Museo Archeologico Ibleo di Ragusa (Naples, 2001), fig. 88. 

  34. Among the numerous comparable pieces coming from Agrigento or Selinunte, see also De Miro 2000, no. 481, pl. XCV (end of the sixth century BC); U. Liepmann, Griechische Terrakotten, Bronzen, Skulpturen, Bildkataloge des Kestner-Museums 12 (Hanover, 1975), pp. 74–75, cat. T 66; Breitenstein 1941, pl. 24, nos. 240–41; Leyenaar-Plaisier 1979, no. 171; Caporusso 1975, pl. XXXII, no. 48; R. A. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Grieken im het klein: 100 antieke terracotta’s, Allard Pierson Museum (Amsterdam, 1986), no. 43 (from 500 BC). See also a small head of female figure with the same hairstyle and the rendering of eyes from the sanctuary in Contrada Casalicchio at Licata from the end of the sixth century BC in Panvini and Sole 2009, vol. 2, no. VI/157, p. 229. 

  35. For this theme and the relation between terracotta production in Agrigento and Athenian models, see G. Adornato, “L’efebo di Agrigento: Cultura figurativa e linguaggi artistici ad Akragas in età tardoarcaica e protoclassica,” Prospettiva 128 (2008), pp. 2–26, esp. figs. 17, 25; and Adornato, “Arte ad Agrigento in età tardoarcaica: Problemi di metodo,” in Immagine e immagini della Sicilia e delle altre isole del Mediterraneo antico: Atti delle seste Giornate Internazionali di Studi sull’area elima e la Sicilia occidentale nel contesto mediterraneo, Erice, 2006, ed. C. Ampolo (Pisa, 2009), vol. 1, pp. 269–76. For the hair on the female votive bust, see Sikanie 1985, fig. 210. 

  36. See M. S. Brouskari, The Acropolis Museum: A Descriptive Catalogue (Athens, 1974), no. 72; and B. Vierneisel-Schlörb, Die Figürlichen Terrakotten, vol. 1, Kerameikos 15 (Munich, 1998), nos. 27–33. 

  37. G. M. A. Richter, Korai: Archaic Greek Maidens (London, 1968), kore no. 684, figs. 581–82; for the formal characteristics of the heads of Athenian korai, datable to the end of the sixth century and the beginning of the fifth century BC, see also Payne and Young, La scultura arcaica, nos. 639 and 649, pls. 90–91; for an analysis of Attic influences on coroplastic art, vases, and numismatics, see Croissant 1997

  38. It is significant, in fact, that in the coroplastic production of Camarina there are clear indications of a stylistic convergence with Selinunte in this period; in this connection, see Giudice, “La stipe di Persephone a Camarina,” pp. 317–19. See also G. Fiorentini, “Da Agrigento a Gela: L’eredità culturale,” in Agrigento e la Sicilia greca: Atti della settimana di studio, Agrigento, 2–8 maggio 1988 (Rome, 1992), ed. L. Braccesi and E. De Miro, pp. 121–31. 

  39. Most of the finds of thymiateria seem to point to votive contexts: Athenian inventories reveal the custom of using incense and thymiateria in rituals honoring Athena Nike: see Zaccagnino 1998, pp. 55–56, 87. On the conjecture that Nike in funerary contexts might instead allude to religious concepts of salvation, see Holloway, “Three Lekythoi.” It does not seem to be pure chance, moreover, that Gela and Camarina should have been the source of the above-mentioned Nike of Karlsruhe, along with numerous other artworks that over the past twenty years have flowed into various foreign museum collections through the antiquities market.