Votive head



Terracotta votive head constructed with a molded front slab of clay attached to a plain slab for the convex back, forming an elliptical, open base on which the head stands. The construction method is excused by the appearance of the head as if the youth is worshipping capite velato: the backing resembles the fold of a cloak or toga pulled up over the head. The head depicts a youth with round eyes, soft full lips, and thick curly hair emerging from the “mantle.” The prototype sculpture from which the mould was drawn was very carefully modeled, as may be seen in the finely delineated neck muscles. There is a small, irregular round vent hole in the top of the crown of the head. Orange-red terracotta fabric, with traces of orange-red paint over a coating of white slip. The proper right corner of the base is broken off; slightly abraded. This type of head is common in Latium (the region in central western Italy where Rome was founded), where the drapery over the head is interpreted as an indication of men's worship in Latin cults, although it also occurs in Etruscan sanctuaries.