Archaic Greek Terracotta Persephone
An archaic ancient Greek terracotta protome of the goddess Persephone. The goddess wears a veil, her lips pursed in an 'Archaic smile.'
Ca. 6th century BC.
Persephone (Proserpina, Kore) was the Queen of the Underworld. The goddess is invariably portrayed robed, often wearing a tall polos (crown), carrying a sheaf of grain and smiling demurely with the "Archaic smile." Her story has great emotional power: an innocent maiden abducted and taken to the underworld by Hades, a mother's grief at the abduction, and the return of her daughter for half of the year when as Demeter, she is the harbinger of Spring. The cult of Demeter and Kore was particularly popular in Greek cities across Sicily and Southern Italy.
Formerly in an English private collection.