Roman terracotta plate type “terra sigillata”, 50-350 A.D.

This dish is made of a special type of terracotta called terra sigillata, which refers to a characteristic type of Roman ceramic that is bright red in colour. The chronology of these productions goes from the first century BC to the middle of the third century A.D. approximately. There are three main types: Italic, South American and Hispanic, to which a fourth type would be added later and which results from the imitation of the previous ones, the African. The use of this type of ceramic covered with red glaze replaced the black glaze ceramic used for domestic use. At the beginning these pieces were made on a lathe but soon their production in moulds became widespread. The pieces contain a stamp that identifies them with the potter and the workshop where they were made. Great technical perfection was achieved to the point of controlling the selection and purification of the clay, the control of the firing temperature or the variety of the shapes. The ornamental repertoire is very limited and almost exclusively geometric, with a predominance of circles. The first and second centuries A.D. belong to the period known as Upper Imperial Rome, that is, the period of splendour of the Roman Empire. It is a flourishing period thanks to the arrival to power of Augustus, who promoted powerful changes in the Empire that had an impact on Roman art. During this period, the aesthetics of sculpture came from the Hellenistic world and, with respect to typologies, historical relief and portraits predominated, which sought to promote the most important characters or events.


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