Marble and limestone statue of an attendant

Greek, South Italian, Tarentine

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162

The dress and cap of this figure were once painted with a brilliant Egyptian blue pigment. A vibrant red cinnabar mixed with red ocher and possibly lead white was applied to the lips. The colors, identified by scientific analyses, enhanced both the smooth surface of the imported Greek marble used for the head and face and the rougher finish of the limestone body. Sculptures carved from different stone types were common in the Hellenistic period in Southern Italy. This statue was likely part of a funerary group. The young attendant probably looks up at her mistress—the deceased—and offers her a box of jewelry, a common motif on funerary monuments.

Marble and limestone statue of an attendant, Marble and limestone, Greek, South Italian, Tarentine

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