Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Reconstruction of a marble Cycladic Figure of the Spedos group

Vinzenz Brinkmann German
Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann

Not on view

"Cycladic figures in marble render the human body in a stylized and very abstract form. At the same time, the eyes, mouth, and hair were consistently painted in color, and often the body was also adorned with dots and lines. The meaning of these body ornaments is unclear. They may have a connection to ritual practices and religious beliefs associated with the figures.

The painted eyes, eyebrows, and mouth of this example of the Spedos Group from the Cycladic Museum in Athens are visible in raking light as traces of weathering. Long locks of hair can be made out on the back of the figure. The dots on the cheeks, as well as the original colors, are preserved on other examples, and they allow us to identify the materials used. There are also numerous marble bowls containing pigments still preserved, and these attest to the brilliance of the original hues made from finely ground azurite, cinnabar, hematite, and other materials."

Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann


Reconstruction 2006 (first version)

Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann

artificial marble and natural pigments in egg tempera,

H. ca. 35.5 cm.

Restorations modeled by Christoph Bergmann

Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project) Frankfurt am Main Inv. St.P 695

Scientific methods employed:

Raking light imaging (Schott KL 1500)

Black and white imaging in visible light (VIS)

Color imaging in visible light (VIS)

Scientific evaluation

Vinzenz Brinkmann, Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, Elizabeth Hendrix

Pigments used for the reconstruction:

blue: azurite; red: cinnabar


Friedrich Teja Bach

Nikolaos Stampolidis, Athens

Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens

Reconstruction of a marble Cycladic Figure of the Spedos group, Vinzenz Brinkmann, Synthetic marble, natural pigments in egg tempera

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.