The intriguing Etruscan Terracotta Female Veiled Half Head is a rare example of a body made in relief, but dislocated from its ground. Given her size, the Female Veiled Half Head (and the rest of her body) would most likely have been attached to an architectural structure, or at least placed against a wall, never meant to be viewed from the round. Extracted from her context, she is doubly fragmented - she has lost her body, and the truth of her half-body is voyeuristically exposed.
These three plaster casts depicting Christ’s Ascension, an Ottonian court, and the Romance of the Roses, represent a scant fraction of the over six hundred fictile ivories held in Special Collections at Bryn Mawr College. Made of the finest Paris plaster and painted by hand, these nineteenth-century casts capture intricate medieval bodies in a new medium. Such objects were originally created as reproductions of medieval carved ivories to aid scholars in the study of the originals, but they now act as artifacts in their own right. Representing both medieval artistic intention and nineteenth-century antiquarian interests, the represented bodies are doubly removed from their original state. At once fragmentary and whole, how can we understand such bodies divorced from their narrative contexts?
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- Etruscan Terracotta Female Veiled Half Head, 3rd century BCE
- Fragment of Plaque with Ascension, Mary, and Apostles, 1858, after early 9th century original
- Panel of Situla with Medieval Figures, 1858 after c.1000 original
- Casket Panel with Scenes from Medieval Romances, 1873, after 14th Century Original
- Roman Arretine Terra Sigillata Chalice Body Sherd with Female Figure in Relief, 1st Century
- Roman Arretine Terra Sigillata Bowl Body Sherd with Winged Female Figure in Relief, 70-230 CE