This is one of the earliest of a small number of ancient Cycladic representations of musicians. Although some scholars have questioned its authenticity, there are compelling reasons to accept it as an ambitious early work of this rare type—notably, the evidence of painted decoration. Differential weathering of the marble atop the head indicates that the figure may have had a painted skullcap or closely cropped hairstyle.
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Differential weathering on the head
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Title:Marble seated harp player
Period:Late Early Cycladic I–Early Cycladic II
Dimensions:H. with harp 11 1/2 in. (29.21 cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1947
From the Cyclades (Wace 1949, p. 426)
Said to have been found on Naxos; [with Mr. Orfanides, Athens]; [with E. Segredakis, Paris]; [until 1930, with the Indjoujian brothers, Paris]; [June 26, 1930, purchased by Joseph Brummer from Agop Indjoujian]; [1930-1947, with Joseph Brummer, New York (P7085)]; acquired in 1947, purchased from Joseph Brummer’s estate.
Wace, A. J. B. 1949. "Prehistoric Stone Figurines from the Mainland." Commemorative studies in honor of Theodore Leslie Shear, Hesperia Supplement, 8. p. 426, Baltimore: American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 15, 166, pl. 6, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1964. Guide to the Collections: Greek and Roman Art. p. 2, fig. 2, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1966. The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. p. 11, fig. 33, London: Phaidon Press.
Getz-Preziosi, Pat and Saul S. Weinberg. 1970. "Evidence for Painted Details in Early Cycladic Sculpture." Antike Kunst, 13: pp. 10–11, fig. 11, pls. 5–6.
Forsyth, William Holmes and The International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art. 1974. "Acquisitions from the Brummer Gallery." The Grand Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sixth International Exhibition presented by C.I.N.O.A.. p. 4, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Thimme, Jürgen. 1976. Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.: Ausstellung unter d. Patronat des International Council of Museums ICOM im Karlsruher Schloss vom 25. Juni-10. Oktober 1976. no. 253, p. 491, Karlsruhe: Müller.
Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe. 1977. Art and Culture of the Cyclades in the Third Millennium B.C., Brinna Otto and Jürgen Thimme, eds. no. 253, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 1, pl. 1, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1979. Greek Art of the Aegean Islands. no. 4, p. 48, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Getz-Preziosi, Pat. 1980. "The Male Figure in Early Cycladic Sculpture." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 15: no. 9, pp. 5, 7, 11–15, figs. 14, 16–19.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 1, p. 14, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Getz-Preziosi, Pat. 1987. Sculptors of the Cyclades: Individual and Tradition in the Third Millennium B.C.. pl. IIIA, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Gill, David and Christopher Chippindale. 1993. "Material and Intellectual Consequences of Esteem for Cycladic Figurines." American Journal of Archaeology, 97(4): p. 619.
Howard Kathleen. 1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Mertens, Joan R. 1998. "Some Long Thoughts on Early Cycladic Sculpture." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 33: pp. 10–1, fig. 6.
Mertens, Joan R. 1998. "Some Long Thoughts on Early Cycladic Sculpture." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 33: pp. 10–11, fig. 6.
Lawergren, Bo. 2000. "A "Cycladic" Harpist in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Source: Notes in the History of Art, 20: pp. 2–9.
Getz-Preziosi, Pat. 2001. Personal Styles in Early Cycladic Sculpture. p. 174, pl. 21, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Mertens, Joan R. 2002. "Cycladic Art in the Metropolitan Museum. Antecedents and Acquisitions." Silent Witnesses: Early Cycladic Art of the Third Millennium BC, Christos G. Doumas, ed. p. 16, 18, fig. d, New York: Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), Inc.
Craxton, John and Peter Warren. 2004. "A Neocycladic Harpist?." Material Engagements: Studies in Honour of Colin Renfrew, Neil Brodie and C. Hills, eds. pp. 109–13, pl. 8.1, Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 4, pp. 31, 409, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Caubet, Annie, Pat Getz-Preziosi, and Alain Pasquier. 2011. Zervos et l'art des Cyclades. p. 20, fig. 12, Incorrectly identified with accession number 47.11.18, Vézelay: Musée Zervos.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. p. 61, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2020. ART = Discovering Infinite Connections in Art History. pp. 197, 264, New York: Phaidon Press.
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