Gilt terracotta statuette of a goat
Gilt terracotta statuette of a goat is a Mycenaean figure that showcases a moderately naturalistic goat. This small object is a three-dimensional sculpture in-the-round made from gilded terracotta. Because of its age the terracotta shows through in some places along the goat’s flank, and it gives the gilding a distinctly rough texture. Close attention is paid to the articulation of muscle and bones, with the legs, hips and throat clearly defined. The dip before the hips, small beard, and attention paid to the joints of the legs are especially helpful in naturalizing the figure. Although the horns are not sculpted in detail, they draw the eye of the viewer because of their larger size.
The importance of this object is that it is a unique example of Mycenaean terracotta figures. While most were plainly decorated, this statuette is gilded, which sets it apart from its contemporaries. Additionally, it is unique because it depicts a goat rather than a bovine like most animal statuettes at the time. Gilt terracotta statuette of a goat would make a valuable addition to Janson’s History of Art. It would continue the terracotta custom that weaves its way through the Aegean, Greek, and Roman periods, while also offering a matchless perspective due to its gilding and depiction of a goat. Rather than replace a currently included work of art, this figure could help bridge the gap between the Mask of Agamemnon and the Three Deities statue by combining the gold of the mask with the medium of the statue. Additionally, it would function as a cultural connection between the Cycladic figures and other symbolic statuettes from the Aegean.