|Figurine of Aphrodite Playing with Eros
Late 4th century BC
Terracotta; h 18.5
The Hermitage possesses a celebrated collection of Tanagra terracottas,
figurines of fired clay. Tanagra sculptors were called coraplasters (in Greek, cora -a
girl, plastein - to sculpt), as they were particularly drawn to representing women. This
statuette, showing Aphrodite amusing Eros with a whipping top, is unique in the collection
of Classical terracottas - this is the only known copy of all the copies with such form.
This sculpture illustrates a tendency towards genre sculpture which was characteristic of
Hellenic art. The paint is so well-preserved that we
can easily imagine how effective this figurine must have been originally.