Horse, 6th century BCE
Greece, Boeotia region
5 7/8 × 6 × 2 ½ in. (14.9 × 15.2 × 6.4 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
CA 6115

Photo: Paul Hester
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Produced in Boeotia, most likely around Thebes, this horse is decorated in white slip with red stripes, including one curving stripe on the upper leg, partially visible. Red-on-white horses were produced contemporaneously with other terracotta figures in Boeotia, including horses with black-on-brown (X 3114) and standing women (CA 6116, 1964-176 McA). Some of the horse figures had attached riders, but many, including this example, are solidary representations. The head has some naturalistic features, such as slight bulges for the eyes, originally also indicated in paint, as well as modeled ears with a tuft of mane between them. The angled positions of the legs and the raised tail give a lively presence to the figure. Thousands of terracotta horses are known from the Archaic period (600–480 BCE), emphasizing the social importance of horses in the ancient world and acting as a symbol of wealth. Terracotta horses would have been appropriate offerings at sanctuaries or graves.