Features Of Tanagra Figurines

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Tanagra figurines are small terracotta women figurines found in the cemetery of Tanagra in Boeotia in the late nineteenth century. These figurines were made in the late classical to the early Hellenistic period (late 400-100 BCE).during this period, figurines had already reached a certain popularity in different cultures and in Greece these Tanagra style figurines evolved from previously present figurine styles. They were usually small in size, reaching up to 30 cm. they were made of a kind of red clay and were afterwards colored in a naturalistic way with water-soluble paints. The hair, lips, shoes, and accessories were colored in red whereas black colored the eyebrows, eyes, and other details. The skin was painted a pale orange pink, and a reddish purple made from rose madder often was used for the clothing. Green, which was made from malachite, and blue were use very rarely since the pigment was expensive. Regarding the material the Tanagras are made of, it is clear that they were not intrinsically valuable. There were made of terracotta, an invaluable kind of reddish clay. The only valuable feature of the figurines often is the paint used to give them their bright and colorful appearance. The painted and sometimes decorated clothing of the figurines probably added to their value, beauty and general appeal. The body posture of the female figurines is always relaxed often with one knee bent slightly, and the faces have soft and calm expression. The ladies of Tanagra

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