Etruscan Terracotta Head of a Goddess
An ancient Etruscan terracotta had of a goddess or a maenad. The female figure wears a coiffure of wavy strands of hair, she had almond eyes and an Archaic smile. Perhaps an antefix from a temple.
Ca. late 6th century BC.
Maenads (also Bacchantes) were the frenzied female members of the retinue of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry (Roman: Bacchus). Maenads, literally "the raving ones," were often depicted in Greek art as wild and ecstatic women who indulged in sex, violence, and intoxication.
cf.: I. Jucker, Italy of the Etruscans, (Mainz, 1991), pp. 258-9, nos. 333-337.
Formerly in a US private collection; purchased at Hotel Drouot, Paris, October 12, 1991; previously in a French private collection.