Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta statuette of an emaciated woman

Late Hellenistic
1st century B.C.
Greek, Asia Minor, Smyrna
H. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Lucy W. Drexel, 1889
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 164
This statuette of an emaciated woman with elongated proportions is a striking portrayal of the human condition. At first glance, she looks like an old woman, with her bony frame and sagging, ill-shapen breasts that hang above her slightly bulging belly. But her statuesque contrapposto pose, diaphanous dress that slips off her right shoulder, and the style of her hair, which is worn long and down, suggest that she is a young woman who is suffering from a debilitating disease.
Said to have been found near Ephesos

Until 1888, collection of Joseph William Drexel, New York; acquired in 1889, gift of Mrs. Lucy Wharton Drexel.
Garland, Robert. 1995. The eye of the beholder: deformity and disability in the Graeco-Roman world. pl. 53, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Kunze, Christian. 1998. Die Farnesische Stier und die Dirkegruppe des Apollonios und Tauriskos, Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. Ergänzungsheft, Vol. 30. p. 63, fig. 273, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co.

Rous, Isabelle Hasselin, Ludovic Laugier, and Jean-Luc Martinez. 2009. D'Izmir à Smyrne: découverte d'une cité antique. pp. 170, 172, 186, fig. 90, Musée du Louvre.

Picón, Carlos A. and Seán Hemingway. 2016. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World p. 60, fig. 73, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karoglou, Kyriaki. 2016. "The Collection of Greek Terracotta Figurines at The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Les Carnets de l’ACoSt, 14: pp.6–7, n. 37 [p. 8], fig. 12.

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