Greek Terracotta Antefix: Pan


Greek Terracotta Antefix: Pan

A large ancient Greek terracotta antefix with the head of Pan in relief. The god is depicted with wind-blown hair, high eye brows, pointed ears, and horns.

Tarentum, Southern Italy.
Ca. 525-500 BC.
Height: 6 1/2 in. (16 cm).

Antefixes were ornamental pottery caps that covered the open ends left by semi-cylindrical tiles at the edge of a temple roofs. They were often adorned with apotropaic images like Gorgons and Satyrs.

Pan was a rustic god of the wild untamed land. His upper body was of human form but his legs were that of a goat as were his horns. He was revered by shepherds and hunters. He was also heavily associated with Music and Theater. His presence was thought to spread fear and calamity, whether it be among flocks or men in battle. The English word Panic is derived from this notion.

cf. for a similar example: Antike Kunstwerke aus der Sammlung Ludwig, Vol. II, (Basel, 1982), no. 180; R. A. HIggins, British Museum Terracottas I, (1954), pl. 191.

Formerly in an American private collection, acquired from Heidi Vollmoeller, Zurich in 1970.

Inv#: 5065


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