ostracon ancient art



Boeotian Terracotta with Actor on Mule, 4th Century BC

Rare snapshot of a satyr play with a pot-bellied actor in the role of the drunken satyr on a mule. The ithyphallic animal with dancing hind legs, the head thrown up, the mouth easily opened.

The rider sits as if drunk, the head turned to the side. His left hand clasps the head of the mule, while his right rests on the animal's croup.

The actor wears a satyr mask with receding forehead, prominent eyebrows, deep-set eyes, flattish nose, open mouth and goatee beard. On the head a polos-like headdress.

The man also carries a dummy belly with an artificial phallus.

For a coarser South Italian example, cf. item no. E724 in: F. W. Hamdorf et al. Die figürlichen Terrakotten der Staatlichen Antikensammlungen München. Band 2. Lindenberg i. Allgäu 2014.

Remains of grey for the coat of the mule, red for the satyr mask, the fake belly, the phallus and the reins, yellow ochre for the ground.

Undamaged, rare. Most of the left side with sinter deposits.

H. 10 cm (3.9 in)

Estate of Wladimir Rosenbaum (1894-1984), former owner of Galeria Serodine, Ascona.

1280 USD

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