Ante Fix With The Head Of Silenus

Roman


Ante fix with the head of Silenus, 5th century BCE

  • Not On View

Terracotta

Dimensions: 5 1/16 × 8 1/4 in. (12.9 × 21 cm)

1986.57

Etruscan roofs were often covered in curved terracotta tiles. An antefix like this was placed on the eaves of the roof to conceal the ends of the convex tiles. Made in a mold, antefixes generally take the shape of a male or female face. This antefix depicts Silenus, a mythological creature that is half man, half beast. He is regularly depicted with a fleshy face and a large, bulbous nose. He wears an animal-skin hood knotted under his long beard. Silenus was known as a teacher and companion of Dionysus—the god of wine—and when he was intoxicated, he had the ability to see the future.

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