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TERRACOTTA

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 657 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TERRACOTTA. Greek.—The use of clay amongst the Greeks was very varied and extensive, but we are here only concerned with one aspect of it, that in which the clay was baked without any glaze, whether employed for utilitarian or ornamental purposes. The Greek term for this is yn oartil, " baked earth "; the word 7rrlXos when applied to worked clay signifies " sun-dried " only. Among the manifold purposes to which terracotta was put by the Greeks may be mentioned parts of public and private buildings, such as bricks, roof tiles, drain and flue tiles, and architectural ornaments; tombs and coffins; statues and statuettes, for votive or sepulchral purposes or for the decoration of houses; imitations of metal vases and jewelry; and such everyday objects as spindle whorls, theatre tickets, lamps, braziers and domestic utensils. It also supplied the potter with moulds and the sculptor with models of works of art, especially in bronze. 654 Use in Architecture.—In architecture terracotta was extensively employed for roof tiles and other decorative details, as has been shown by many recent discoveries, especially at Olympia. In the Heraion we have the oldest example of a terracotta roof. A 6th-century temple at Thermonin Acarnania is also constructed of wood and terracotta, with painted terra-cotta slabs in wooden frames for metopes. The generic term for a roof tile was KEpauos, and these are classified as flat square tiles (areyaorilpes or acoXilves) and semi-cylindrical covering tiles (Kakuarrlpes). Other varieties of ornamental tiles used in buildings are (I) the covering slabs along the raking-cornice (yeiaov) of the pediment; (2) the Kuµarcov or cornice above the ryeiaov; (3) the cornice along the sides with lions' head spouts to carry off rain-water; (4) the &, pwr1 pta or antefixal ornaments surmounting the side-tiles. These latter varieties were usually enriched with decoration in colour, the KV/thl-LOP being painted with elaborate patterns of lotosand-honeysuckle or Greek key-pattern, in red, blue, brown and yellow, curvilinear patterns being restricted to curved, rectilinear to flat surfaces. The antefixal ornaments were usually modelled in the form of an anthemion or palmette, but were sometimes adorned with reliefs or sculptured groups, as in the case of the temple of Zeus at Olympia, which has figures of Victory along the cornice. The British Museum has an interesting series of 6th-century date from Capua, with gorgons' heads, female busts, and other subjects in relief, and others come from an early 5th-century temple at Civita Lavinia. Many coloured roof tiles have been found at Olympia. In Sicily and southern Italy a fashion prevailed of nailing slabs of terracotta over the surface of the stonework (a legacy from the epoch of wooden buildings which required protection from the weather). These were ornamented with lotos-andhoneysuckle and other patterns, sometimes in relief but always richly coloured. They occur at Olympia in the Treasury of Gela, by a Sicilian architect, and also in a temple at Selinus. The best example of this practice is the temple at Civita Lavinia already cited, the remains of which belong partly to the 6th, partly to the 4th century B.C. Sculpture.—The subject of Greek sculpture in terracotta is a large one, and only its brief outlines can be given here. Of large or life-size statues comparatively few examples are known, and they can only be said to be common in Cyprus, where marble was difficult to procure; they are also more frequent in Italy, as will be seen later. But the use of clay for the reproduction of the human figure was one of the earliest instincts of the race, and may be traced back as far as archaeological records exist, to the days of the Minoan and Aegean supremacies. Terracotta figures of a very primitive character have been found in Crete, in Melos and at Olympia, and one series of figures from Petsofa in Crete is remarkable for the very modern fashions of head-dress and costumes. Terracotta figures of more advanced style have also been found in Rhodes and other places dating from the Mycenaean period. Greek traditions on the subject go back to one Butades of Sikyon, a potter who was credited with the invention of model-ling clay in relief; and the Samian sculptors Theodorus and Rhoikos, who lived about the end of the 7th century B.c., were said to have been the first to use clay models for statues. As they were supposed to have introduced hollow casting in bronze, it was obviously for this purpose that they employed clay. But this material was later superseded by wax, and for marble statues was not used until Roman times. The small terracotta figures used as ornaments or household gods, buried in tombs or dedicated in temples, trace their pedigree from the prehistoric examples already mentioned. They have been found in large numbers on nearly all the well-known sites of antiquity, the most fruitful being Tanagra in Boeotia, Myrina in Asia Minor, Rhodes, the Cyrenaica, Athens, Sicily, and some of the towns of southern Italy. They are also found in Cyprus and Sardinia, where, as to some extent in Rhodes, they follow a peculiar development, under the domination of Phoenician influence, and many of the earlier typeshave a markedly oriental character. But in the Greek terracottas we may trace a steady development from the primitive types which correspond to the 6ava of primitive Greek religion, and for the most part represent actual deities, down to the purely genre figures of Tanagra and other Hellenistic pro. ducts of highly-developed beauty. For beauty and charm the palm has by general consent been given to the Tanagra figures of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. which were known in antiquity as Kbpat or " maidens," from the presence of seated or standing types of girls in various attitudes. The makers of these figures were known as wpm-Mon-at or Koponr?aaoc, and are spoken of in literature, together with their wares, with some contempt. Manufacture.—The processes employed in the manufacture of terracottas are five in number: (I) the preparation of the clay; (2) moulding; (3) retouching; (4) baking; and (5) colouring and gilding. The last named, though not essential, was almost universal in some form or another.' The clay used for the statuettes varies greatly in different localities, and this is an important criterion for distinguishing the different sites of manufacture. It ranges in colour from a deep red (as in the brick-like terracottas of Naukratis) to a pale buff or drab as in Cyprus, and the fired product is generally softer than that of the painted vases. It was prepared by washing the local clay free from all granular substances and then kneading it with the aid of water. The modelling was done by hand in the case of the earlier figures, and small objects such as toys and dolls, which are solid; the clay was worked up into a mass with the fingers, the marks of which may often be seen. Subsequently the use of moulds became universal, the final touches being given to the figure either with the fingers or with a graving tool. The finer statuettes, such as those of Tanagra, are invariably moulded, and the better examples show traces of very careful retouching. The advantage of moulding was that the " walls " of the figure could be reduced to a very regular thickness, obviating the danger of shrinkage in the baking; it also rendered them very light, and permitted great accuracy In detail. A model (apbrunros) was first made in terracotta with modelling tools, from which the mould (rvaros) was taken, also in terracotta and usually in two pieces, which were, then baked to a considerable hardness. From this mould the figure was made by smearing it with layers of clay until a sufficient thickness was reached, leaving the figure hollow. The back was made separately, either from a mould or by hand, and then fitted carefully to the front, the seam or join being run up with soft clay. The base was usually left open, and a vent hole was left in the back, which aided the clay to dry and to be re-fired without cracking, and was also used sometimes for suspending the figure when finished. The heads and arms were usually moulded separately, and attached or luted to the body with soft clay. Greek moulds for statuettes are somewhat rare, but there are examples known from Kertch, Smyrna, Girgenti and Tarentum; the British Museum has a series from the last-named site (PI. I. fig. 3). Most of these are for small figures only. The shrinkage of the clay as it dried permitted the figure to be drawn easily from the mould, and the reproduction was then ready for retouching. It is obvious, from a glance at any collection of terracottas, that there is a great similarity between the various examples of any one type, and that many are virtually, if not actually, replicas of one another. This of course was due to the fact that only a limited number of moulds were used, corresponding to the various types. The minute differences between them, which constitute the charming variety found amongst these figures, and prevent monotony even where the type is constant, were obtained by the process of retouching, as well as by varying the pose of the head or limbs, or by differences of attributes and colourings. Actual retouching by a skilled modeller is seldom found except in the finer examples. The process of baking required great care and attention, for if no allowance were made for the evaporation of moisture, or if too great a degree of temperature were reached, the result was disastrous. The clay was ensured against drying too rapidly by preliminary exposure to air and'sunshine, while the temperature employed in firing was low even lower than that used for painted vases. The colouring of the baked statuettes was fairly universal, the chief exceptions being some of the more archaic examples, and many of the Roman period. The surface on which the colours was laid was formed by a white slip or engobe of a creamy colour and consistency, with which the whole front of the figure was coated. This when dry became very flaky and has often fallen off, carrying the colours with it, though most statuettes retain at least traces of this treatment with slip. It is very unlikely that this slip-coating was fired at all. On the white slip-facing opaque 'Clever forgeries of Greek terracotta figures are now being produced both in France and Italy. Admitted copies are also made in Berlin and Vienna, but these are generally so inferior in artistic merit as not to deceive any one who knows the genuine article. colours were painted in tempera colours. The, colouring was usually conventional, and only aimed at imparting a pleasing appearance to the figure. It was necessarily applied after the firing, as many of the pigments used would have been altered or destroyed at the firing temperature of the body. The tints were body-colours, applied without shading, and red, blue, yellow and black are those most commonly employed, the white slip serving for the nude parts and generally also for the ground-work. Blue and red were especially favoured for drapery, as in many of the Tanagra figures; the red ranging from scarlet to pink or rose purple. Black was only used for the eyes or details of features; yellow (varying to deep brown) for the hair, and also for jewelry. Gilding is rare but was frequently employed in later times for terracotta imitations of jewelry. In the primitive terracottas and those of Cyprus or other centres which adhered to primitive methods, the decoration is in stripes of matt black and red paint applied in a conventional manner to human figures and animals alike. True glazes or enamels are occasionally found, as for instance in the later terracottas of Sicily, where they are employed both for drapery and for flesh colours. Greek terracotta statuettes have been discovered in tombs, on the sites of sanctuaries, and in private houses. The tomb-finds are scattered all over the Mediterranean littoral, and the chief sites have already been noted ; among the sanctuaries we may cite Olympia, the Acropolis at Athens, the temenos of Demeter at Knidos, the temples at Naukratis in the Egyptian Delta, many sites in Cyprus, and temples at Selinus in Sicily and Tarentum. The purposes for which these statuettes were used, (a) for religious rites, (b) in daily life, (c) in funeral ceremonies, have been the subject of much debate. Since the same types and subjects are common to each of these classes of discoveries it is obvious that the terracottas cannot have been intended for one purpose alone even if their primary significance was religious. Numerous theories have been advanced on this subject, some authorities having maintained that their meaning was exclusively religious or mythological, that they originally corresponded to the Egyptian ushabti, and that these religious types were afterwards adopted for ordinary human figures symbolizing the life of the deceased beyond the tomb. The gradual change in popular taste from figures of deities to figures of a genre type is unquestionably a feature of the development of this branch of art, but that the development was affected by religious ideas is more open to doubt. It is more probable that it followed the lines of artistic evolution, and that the continued use of terracottas as votive or funeral offerings became more or less a convention. In fact, the identity of the types, under what-ever circumstances they are found, seems to indicate that the significance was given to them by the purchaser, who would decide for himself whether he offered them to some appropriate deity, deposited them in the tomb of some relative, or kept them for use and decoration in his own house. Subjects and Types.—The earliest beginnings of the statuettes proper show, as might be expected in primitive Greek art, a very limited range of subjects. As in other materials, so also in clay, the female deity reigns supreme. The primitive Hellenic type of goddess adopts two forms, both derived from an original in wood, the board-form Qavis, and the column form slaw or Ebavov, both of which we find also in sculpture. The limbs are wanting, or are at best rudimentary, the figure terminating below in a spreading base. Both types are found in Rhodes, but on the mainland of Greece the columnar type died out after the Mycenaean period, and only the board-type remained, this being specially popular in Boeotia, where both standing and sitting figures occur, painted in the same style as the local vases. This type was adhered to for the bodies of figures even when the head was modelled in a more advanced style of art. The column-type is also well exemplified in Cyprus. The standing and seated goddesses are the two principal types in archaic Greek art (Pl. II. fig. 4) , and are widely distributed and of universal popularity; though the conception of the goddess may vary with the locality, the types are almost identical, and the attributes are but slightly varied. A certain proportion of these deities are differentiated as nature-goddesses, either as a nude goddess in a shrine or a seated figure with a child in her lap who may be described as the Earth-Mother. Both types are of oriental origin. Another common archaic type is the funeral mask or bust, hollow at the back, which is found both in central Greece and Rhodes. Being almost always feminine it seems probable that these are not images of the deceased, but the Chthonian goddesses Demeter and Persephone, playing in the tombs the role of protectress against evil influences. We may also mention here the little figures of animals, women and children variously occupied, and jointed dolls (ssupbvaaura) which can only have served the purpose of children's toys. In Athens, Melos and Rhodes, many of these have been found in children's graves. The evidence of finds and other indications seems to show that these archaic types were not affected by the rapid development of Greek art in the 5th century, but continued in vogue until the end of that period. Certainly there are very few terracottas of developed style which can be assigned to an earlier period than the 4th century, and many figures of archaic type can be shown from the contents of the tombs in which they are found not to be earlier than the5th century B.c. The reason for this is probably hieratic. Owing to their religious associations old conventional types continued in use, whereas painted vases and the majority of sculptures of a higher class were not affected by such considerations. Therefore we are not surprised when we come to the later terracottas of the fine period, or 4th century, to find the standing and seated feminine types still prominent. But the change in style is also accompanied by a change in conception, and in place of the goddess we now have the Greek lady—in place of the mythological the genre. The transformation was'quite a simple one, and it needed little change to convert a nursing goddess into a mother with her little one, or a Persephone holding a flower into a girl of Tanagra. The change in fact was artistic rather than religious; an evolution rather than a revolution. The figures were still placed in tombs and shrines, though the old associations were less strongly felt. In order to know what were the characteristics of the best Greek work in terracotta we must turn our attention to its most typical pro-ducts, the Tanagra statuettes (Pl. II. fig. 4). Here we havean almost unlimited variety of feminine figures illustrating the daily life of Greek women. In most cases the arms are more or less concealed by the mantle which is drawn closely across the figure, even covering the hands; but many hold a fan, a mirror, a wreath, or a theatrical mask in one hand, while with the other they gather together the folds of their draperies. The long tunic or chiton and the mantle or himation, which all without exception wear, formed the typical dress of the Greek matron and girl; and to this was added for out-door wear a large shady hat. The seated types follow on the same lines, but are not so common. These figures range in date from about 350 to 200 B.C., and their inspiration is probably drawn rather from the painting than the sculpture of the period. The terracottas of Eretria in Euboea and of Myrina in Asia Minor stand next in artistic merit, but are of more markedly Hellenistic character; they are freer from ancient tradition, but tend to de-generate into exaggeration of pose and conception. Here the types of divinities so conspicuously absent at Tanagra reappear; in particular Eros or Cupid, the one deity who universally caught the popular taste in the Hellenistic age, and in the many representations of whom we see the prototypes of the Pompeian Amoretti; Aphrodite, Dionysos and Victory are also popular themes. At , some times the Tanagra types are repeated here, as, with varying artistic success, in other parts of the Mediterranean littoral. Though no other Greek site has produced terracottas of such artistic merit as the two just discussed, there are others where the art enjoyed great popularity, either for a comparatively brief period or through the whole history of Greek art. Some of these centres of manufacture have already received mention or at least allusion, but we may briefly call attention' to a few others. From Sicily we possess a complete series, from archaic to later times, the earlier being best represented at Selinus, where a great variety of richly coloured figures have been found; there are also many fine heads of 5th century style, and later figures of Aphrodite, Eros and other deities imitating the later types of Hellenistic art. At Naukratis in the Egyptian Delta the later terracottas are strongly influenced by Egyptian ideas, and figures like Bes and Horus are found in conjunction with orientalized Aphrodite-types. In the Cyrenaica on the north coast of Africa the influence of Tanagra is apparent, but the style is for the most part degenerate. The terracottas of Tarentum stand apart from those of other sites, being markedly funereal in character; many represent Dionysos reclining at a banquet. Elsewhere in Southern Italy the types correspond to those of Sicily and other Mediterranean sites. Terracotta work in relief, apart from definitely architectural examples, is almost limited to two small classes, both belonging to the beginning of the 5th century. These groups, known respectively as " Melian and Locrian reliefs, consist of small plaques, possibly intended to be inserted in the walls of temples or shrines. The subjects of the Locrian reliefs, which mostly relate to the myth and cult of Persephone, seem to indicate that they at least were of a votive character. They occur at Locri in Southern Italy, and similar examples dedicated to Athena have been found on the Acropolis at Athens. The Melian reliefs exhibit a wider scope of subjects, mainly mythological ; the work is exceedingly delicate and refined in character. Some are simple plaques; others have the figures cut out without background, or only the outer con-tours. They have been found on various Greek sites, the majority in Melos (Pl. I. fig. 2). There is a class of vases which comes rather under the heading of terracotta than of pottery, from its technical character and general appearance. These are found at Canosa, Calvi, Cumae and elsewhere in Southern Italy, and belong to the Hellenistic period (Pl. II. fig. 5). They combine in a marked degree the characteristics of the vase and the statuette, some being vases with moulded reliefs or small figures in the round attached; others actual figures or colossal heads modelled in vase form, with the addition of mouth, handle and base. They are often of gigantic size, and do not appear to have served any practical purpose; probably they were made specially for the tomb. They are covered with a white slip like the statuettes, and are often richly coloured. Some even have subjects painted in some permanent process like encaustic. The form usually adopted is that of a spherical vase with a flat handle on the top and three tall mouths. Etruscan Terracotta Work.—Some features of terracotta work are peculiar to the people of Etruria, who employed this material both for finer works of art and for more utilitarian purposes. Several ancient writers speak of their preference for clay and their skill in its use. Pliny attributes its introduction to Corinthian refugees in the 7th century, and states that the art of modelling in clay was brought to perfection in Italy, and especially in Etruria. Certainly for their statues the Etruscans appear to have preferred clay to other materials (except perhaps bronze), and also for use in architecture. The Romans employed Etruscan artists to decorate their temples, and the statue of Jupiter on the Capitol was made by Volca of Veii about 50o B.C., in clay painted vermilion, as was also the chariot on the pediment of the temple. For the decoration of temples terracotta remained in use even down to Roman times; these buildings being usually of wood covered with slabs of terracotta, like the early Greek buildings discussed in the pre-ceding section. Remains of temples with terracotta decoration of this kind have been found at Ccrvetri (Caere), at Alatri, and at Civita Castellana (Falerii), as well as at Civita Lavinia (v. supra). Other remains of terracotta decorations come from Conca (Satricum), Orvieto, Pitigliano and Luni, where the pediment of the temple has the figures of Olympian deities, muses and the slaughter of Niobids, all executed in terracotta on a large scale. The date of these sculptures is about 200 B.C. At Alatri and Falerii the decoration consists of a complete system of terracotta plating pver the woodwork of the roofs and architraves, ornamented with patterns in relief or painted and surmounted with carved antefixal ornaments. Some of the antefixae from Cervetri are very effective examples of sculpture and exhibit in a marked degree the influence of Ionic Greek art, due to the Hellenic elements with which the civilization of Caere and the Campanian cities was permeated. The form of monument which best exhibits the Etruscan fondness for terracotta as a material for sculpture is the sarcophagus, of which some remarkable archaic examples exist, and a considerable number of later date. Among the former the most conspicuous example is the well-known Castellani sarcophagus in the British Museum, dating from the end of the 6th century B.c. The sides are decorated with friezes of figures in relief, and on the cover is a group of a man and a woman reclining, executed in the round life-size. These figures are undoubtedly genuine native work, and in the obvious inability of the sculptor to achieve success in working in the round they contrast strongly with the reliefs, which are truly Hellenic in style if not in subject. There are similar examples in the Louvre, and in the Museo Papa Giulio at Rome. The later sarcophagi which belong to the 3rd century B.C. follow on the same lines. They invariably consist of a rectangular body or coffer with sculptured reliefs on the front and sides, and a flat cover on which reclines a figure representing the deceased person. They were used for holding the ashes of the dead. Usually they are of small size, measuring not more than 18 by 12 by 12 in., but some are large enough for a body to lie in at full length. The reliefs freely modelled in the style of later Etruscan art are often of a funerary character, representing the last farewell to the dead in the presence of Charon and other death,.deities; others have mythological subjects, such as the combat of Eteokles and Polyneikes; the slaying of the dragon by Kadmos; or the parting of Admetos and Alkestis. They are usually painted in tempera on a white ground, the bright colouring having a very vivid effect. By far the finest examples of this class are one from Cervetri, now in the British Museum, and another very similar in the Archaeological Museum at Florence, with which were found coins of about 150 B.C. The former (Pl. I. fig. 1) is shown by its inscription to be the tomb of one Seianti Thanunia, whose life-size effigy adorns its cover; a most realistic example of Etruscan portrait-sculpture in perfect preservation, richly coloured, and adorned with jewelry. The dimensions of this sarcophagus are 6 ft. by 2 ft. by i ft. 4 in.; it has no reliefs on the front but a simple pattern of pilasters and quatrefoils. Owing to its great size the figure of the lady was shaped in two halves, the joint being below the hips. The Florence sarcophagus represents a lady of the name of Larthia Seianti. Roman Terracotta Work.—The uses of clay among the Romans were much the same as amongst the Greeks and Etruscans, in architecture and sculpture, as well as for other purposes; the main differences were that in some cases its use was more extensive in Rome, in others less; and generally that the products of Roman workshops are inferior to those of earlier times. But the technical processes are in the main those previously employed. The Romans divided the manufacture of objects in clay into two classes: opus figulinum for fine ware made from argilla or creta figularis and opus doliare for tiles and common earthenware. Of their use of tiles and bricks in architecture this is not the place to speak, except for the ornamental architectural details which come strictly under the heading of terracotta. Ornamental -tiles followed much on the lines of those used in Greece, whether roof-tiles or antefixal ornaments, though the latter are both simpler and inferior in design. Terracotta was largely used at Pompeii for this purpose, and also for gutters and wellmouths. A characteristic feature of Pompeian houses is the trough-like gutter which formed an ornamental cornice to the compluvium or open skylight of the atrium and peristyle; these were adorned with spouts in the form of masks or animals' heads, through which the rain-water fell from the gutters into the impluvium. Some good examples of roof-tiles and antefixal ornaments have also been found at Ostia. Terracotta mural decoration was also largely employed by the Romans for the interior and exterior of their buildings; in the form of slabs ornamented with reliefs hung on the walls or round the cornices. Cicero speaks of fixing the bas-reliefs (typos) " on the cornice of his little atrium." These slabs usually measure about 18 by 9 to 12 in., and have nearly all been found in Rome, though isolated examples occur in other places. There is a series of 160 in the British Museum (PI. II. fig. 6), whole or fragmentary—nearly all of which were collected at Rome by Charles Towneleyand there is another large collection in the Louvre. Others from the Baths of Caracalla are in. various museums at Rome. These reliefs were pressed in moulds, as is shown by the frequent repetition of certain subjects with at most only slight differences; moreover the relief is low, with sharp and definite outlines such as a mould would produce. They were sometimes retouched before baking, hence the variations. Reliefs entirely modelled are much rarer, but some examples exist, of considerable artistic feeling and freedom. Circular holes are left in the slabs for the plugs by which they were attached in their places. The clay varies in quality and appearance, and in tone ranges from a pale buff to a dark reddish-brown. Traces of colouring are sometimes found; backgrounds of a light blue, and figures or more commonly details such as hair being painted red, yellow, purple or white. These colours are painted in tempera, and their use is purely conventional. The slabs are usually ornamental, with cornices of egg-pattern and palmettes, or with an edging of open-work. The figures are mostly in low relief, grouped with large, flat surfaces between in the manner of contemporary Roman art; in some cases the whole groundwork is composed of patterns of scroll-work or foliage, more or less conventionalized. The compositions consist either of narrow friezes with rows of Cupids or masks, or groups of two or three figures resembling temple-metopes. The style is in general bold and vigorous, and being essentially architectural it is not devoid of dignity and beauty. The known examples fall into two groups according to their treatment : (a) The naturalistic style, corresponding to the so-called Hellenistic reliefs of Augustan art; (b) the conventional, not to say archaistic, corresponding to the classicist tendencies of another school of Augustan artists represented by the " New Attic " reliefs. Both groups find close parallels in the metal-work and pottery of this period, to which date they may therefore be assigned. The subjects cover a very wide field. Many are no doubt in-spired by well-known works of art;• others are closely related to the " New Attic " types, including dancing and frenzied maenads or the seasons. Others again, reflecting the spirit of the time, reproduce Egyptian landscapes. Scenes from the circus or arena, or quasi-historical subjects, such as triumphs over barbarians, again illustrate favourite themes of Roman Imperial art. Of mythological subjects, the most popular are Dionysiac scenes, Satyrs gathering and pressing grapes, and Victory slaying a bull; while heroic legends are also represented. Of a more conventional type are figures of Cupids carrying wreaths, priestesses sacrificing, or single figures surrounded by elaborate scrolls. Roman Sculpture in Terracotta.—Frequent allusions in classical writers indicate that the ancient statues of the Romans were mostly of terracotta, and Pliny notes that even in his day statuettes of clay were still preferred for temples. There are also references to signa fictilia placed on pediments of buildings such as the Capitoline temple. As noted in the previous section, during the greater part of the Republic, Rome was indebted for these to Etruscan artists, but the style of the figures was probably more Greek than Etruscan. In 493 B.C. Gorgasus and Damophilus of Himera in Sicily ornamented with terracotta reliefs and figures the temple of Ceres (now Santa Maria in Cosmedin). Towards the end of the Republic modellers in clay are mentioned, such as Possis, who imitated grapes and other fruit, and the sculptor Arcesilaus. But their work in this material appears to have been confined to models for sculpture or metal work, and the invasion of the masterpieces of Greek art and the general adoption of marble by sculptors led to the neglect of terracotta as a medium of the glyptic arts. Few statues of any size in-this material now exist, but there is an interesting series in the British Museum, found in a well near Porta Latina at Rome in 1767, restored by Nollekens, and acquired by Charles Towneley. Some terracotta figures of considerable size were found at Pompeii, having formed the cult-statues of a temple; others were employed for adorning gardens, like the series from Rome just mentioned. Terracotta figures were also employed as architectural members of the caryatid type. All these belong to the Augustan and succeeding period, or at least are not later than the reign of Nero. Terracotta statuettes similar in style to those of Greece are also found in houses and tombs of the Roman period or as votive offerings on sacred sites. They were known to the Romans as Sigilla, and were used as presents, or placed in the lararia or domestic shrines. Some 200 were found in the poorer quarters of Pompeii, implying that they took the place of the marble and bronze figures which the wealthier inhabitants alone could afford. At the festival of Sigillaria, part of the December Saturnalia, terracotta figures and masks were in great demand. Originally these were votive offerings to Saturn, but later the custom degenerated into that of giving them as presents to friends or children, a practice indulged in by the Emperors Hadrian and Caracalla. The makers of these figures were known as sigillarii or figuli sigillatores, and they lived in the Via Sigillaria. Their social position appears to have been very low; but it must be remembered that they were chiefly patronized by the poorer classes; probabiy many of them were slaves. The technical processes which they employed were practically those of the Greek craftsmen. Large figures were made from models (proplasniata) and built up on a wooden frame-work known as crux or stipes; but the smaller ones were made from moulds. The range of subjects is much the same as in the 1 ter Greek terracottas. At Pompeii genre figures predominate, sucTi as gladiators, athletes and slaves, and in general there is a preference for portraits and grotesques. On the whole these late works have little artistic merit. Votive figures have been found at Praeneste on the site of the temple of Fortune, and also at Nemi and Gabii. This industry also extended from Rome to the provinces, and terracotta statuettes of local make have been found even in Britain, as at Richborough, Colchester and London. In Gaul in particular, and in the Rhine district, there were very extensive manufactures of terracottas after the conquest of Julius Caesar in 58 B.C. They were made by local craftsmen for the Roman colonists, who introduced their own types of design. The principal centre of manufacture was the district of the Allier in Central France. Potteries have been found at Moulins, as well as in other parts of France, in Belgium and Alsace, and along the Rhine. The figures found in the Allier district are made of a peculiar white clay, the technique resembling that of Roman work, but the modelling is heavy and often barbaric. Numerous moulds have also come to light which show that the figures were made in two pieces; on the exterior of these moulds the potters' names have frequently been scratched (to indicate ownership). Names appear on the figures as well as on the moulds, and many of these are of Gaulish origin. The commonest names are those of Pistillus of Autun, Rextugenus, a potter of north-west France, and Vindex of Cologne. The subjects include divinities, genre figures, and animals; among the former the pre-eminent type is that of a Nature-Goddess, characterized either as Venus Genetrix or as a Mother with a Child (Kovporpo¢os). Both in subject and in artistic character these statuettes appear to have been largely influenced by the Graeco-Egyptian art of Alexandria during the Hellenistic period. They appear to have been used for domestic and funerary purposes and as votive offerings. After the downfall of the Roman Empire in the west, the artistic use of terracotta was abandoned for many centuries, though, here and there, both in Italy and in the districts that had been once Roman provinces, decorated terracotta work was carried on sporadically both in parts of France and of Germany. The true renaissance of its use came during the 14th and 15th centuries, when it was adapted once more to architectural service in the Gothic buildings of northern Italy and of Germany. In Germany the mark of Brandenburg is especially rich in buildings enriched with modelled terracotta. The church of St Catherine in the town of Brandenburg is decorated in the most lavish way with delicate tracery and elaborate string-courses and cornices enriched with foliage all modelled in clay; the town-hall of Brandenburg is another instance of the same use of terracotta. At Tangermunde, the church of St Stephen and other buildings of the beginning of the 15th century are wonderful examples of this method of decoration; the north door of St Stephen's especially being a masterpiece of rich and effective moulding. In northern Italy this use of terracotta was carried to an equally high pitch of perfection. The western facade of the cathedral of Crema, the communal buildings of Piacenza, and S. Maria delle Grazie in Milan are all striking examples of the extreme splendour of effect that can be obtained by terracotta work. The Certosa near Pavia is a gorgeous specimen of the early work of the 16th century; the two cloisters are especially magnificent. Pavia itself is very rich in terracotta decoration, especially the ducal palace and the churches of S. Francesco and S. Maria del Carmine. Some delicate work exists among the medieval buildings of Rome, dating from the 14th and 16th centuries, as, for example, the rich cornices of the south aisle of S. Maria in Ara Coeli, c. 13o0; the front of S. Cosimato in Trastevere, built c. 1490; and a once very magnificent house, near the Via di Tordinone, which dates from the 14th century. With the revival of terracotta as an adjunct to medieval architecture we find the sculptors of the Italian renaissance turning to this material, as a medium for the production of reliefs, busts, and even groups of many life-sized figures—again following the practice or classic times. Much of the Florentine terracottasculpture of the 15th century is among the most beautiful plastic work the world has ever seen, especially that by Jacopo della Quercia, Donatello, and the sculptors of the next generation.' For life, spirit, and realistic truth, combined with sculpturesque breadth, these pieces are masterpieces of invention and manipulation. The portrait busts are perfect models of iconic sculpture. In some respects the use of burnt clay for sculpture has great advantages over that of marble; the soft clay is easily and rapidly moulded into form while the sculptor's thought is fresh in his mind, and thus works in terracotta often possess a spirit and vigour which can hardly be reproduced in laboriously finished marble. In the 16th century a more realistic style was introduced, and this was heightened by the custom of painting the figures in oil colours. Many very clever groups of this kind were produced by Ambrogio Foppa (Caradosso) for S. Satiro at Milan and by Guido Mazzoni and Begarelli (1479–1565) for churches in Modena. These terra-cotta sculptures are unpleasing in colour and far too pictorial in style; but those of Begarelli were enthusiastically admired by Michelangelo. The introduction of enamelled reliefs in terracotta which is so closely associated with the Florentine sculptor Luca della Robbia and his descendants, is specially treated in the article
End of Article: TERRACOTTA
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TERRACINA (Lat. Tarracina, Volsc. Anxur)
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