Terracotta....The Beauty of Fired Earth

By: David Moon and Jamie Sue Austin • Jul 06, 2011 • 0 Comments

Clay. Earth. Dirt. Soil. From such humble beginnings man created an empire. Bricks of clay built homes and tiled roofs and pavements. From the ground came plates, bowls, pots and containers of every shape and size which held food, water, and various goods. Ovens of dirt baked both bread and gave warmth. Man, himself, is said to be created from clay. Christian, Islamic, Greek, African, and many other mythologies attribute man's origins to the muck and mire of wet earth. It is no wonder then, with man being born from the earth that clay would be among the first materials to be transformed by the ingenious hands of man.

The transformation was a dramatic one. From common soil to the faces of angels, man manipulated clay in such a way as to create artistic life from it. Many sculptures later carved in stone or cast in bronze found their birth in clay. While terracotta works are found throughout the world, terracotta from Italy and France deserves special consideration. In fact, the word terracotta hails from Italy and is recognized universally to denote fired clay. It is no wonder then that Italy and France would host some of the world's most fantastic terracotta sculptures. Even those terracotta figures which served as drafts or molds for bronze and stone are magnificent works in their own right; sometimes achieving a degree of intensity and emotion impossible to attain in other mediums.

The imperial terra cotta sculpture featured here from Legacy Antiques, projects an undeniable aura of playfulness and fancy that even the most casual of observers find irresistible. The intricate detail proves its artist to be a pure master of the craft.  The realism it displays is unmistakably brilliant. Yes, indeed it is.… the beauty of fired earth.