Head of a Veiled Figure, 300 BCE-300 CE
Hellenistic or Roman
1 3/8 × 1 × 1 3/8 in. (3.5 × 2.5 × 3.5 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
1972-62.33 DJ

1972 62 33 dj 20190523 003c v01 m
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Unusually this figure wears a full veil that covers the top of the head and drapes over the mouth. The cultural identity or role of the figure is unclear, but other veiled terracotta figures represent people in religious roles or entertainers. Additional details on this head would have appeared in paint. The thick layer of whitewash that served as the foundation for that paint is still evident, even though the pigments are not preserved. Other examples of veiled figures are known to represent dancers, usually depicted as women. Like other heads in the Menil Collection, this piece was produced using a two-part mold. It is hollow, evident at the break at the neck.  

This head was acquired by the Menil Collection as part of a large group of terracottas, some of which were once part of the collection of Dr. Daniel Marie Fouquet (1850–1914). The head, however, does not appear in any of the associated publications and cannot be confirmed as part of Dr. Fouquet’s collection.