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Standing, female figure, holding her right hand in the height of her breast; her hair is curly and put up in a very voluminous hairdo; she wears a white polos, reddish brown necklace, red bracelets and white peplos with red borders; her skin is white, her hair and lips red; the folds of the dress are indicated by red strokes; a red band along the edge of the base;the back side is unworked and has an elongated, roughly rectangular opening. Reddish brown clay; white slip; red paint.

Details

  • Title: Figurine
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: C. 430-370 B.C.
  • Location Created: Boeotia.
  • Physical Dimensions: 6,0 cm, 24,5 cm
  • External Link: Object at Museum of Mediterranean (Medelhavsmuseet)
  • Ancient mysteries, text: During her travels after she left Mount Olympus, Demeter came to the city of Eleusis in the guise of an old woman. While she rested near a well (called the “Kallichoron”, or “Maiden”) she was greeted by the daughters of the king, Celeus, and offered her services as a nurse to the royal household. The queen, Metaneira, then asked Demeter to nurse her newborn son, Demophon. Demeter agreed, but instead of nursing him, she secretly anointed him with ambrosia (the immortality-granting food of the gods) and put him into the fire every night. One night, Metaneira spied on Demeter and shrieked in terror. Demeter, furious with her, explained that she had been making Demophon immortal but now, because of his mother’s folly, she refused to continue. She revealed her true divine nature and demanded that the Eleusinians build her a temple, promising that she would reveal rites for them to perform in order to soften her anger. It was in this temple that Demeter remained until Persephone was returned to her, after which she continued in teaching the Eleusinians all her mysteries. This terracotta figurine is likely a representation of Demeter, wearing a peplos and a wide polos. Her curly hair and very voluminous hairdo is typical of Boeotian classical figurines. The folds of the dress, along with her jewelry, are indicated by red paint. The figurine belongs to the deposition from the National Museum of Fine Arts.

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