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Marble female figure


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171

Technical analyses: Multiband imaging, raking light examination, optical microscopy

This complete figure was repaired just below the center of the neck and at both knees. It is a reclining female figure with flat back and bent knees. The wide oval head is tilted back with a slightly rounded crown and a wide well-centered nose. The upward tapering neck rests on the figure’s relatively slender, yet angular shoulders. Two deep vertical grooves separate the slender upper arms from the torso with two well-placed, rounded breasts. The forearms (without fingers) are folded left over right relatively low beneath the breasts and above a flat belly. Two curving grooves mark the tops of the thighs. A deep, sharp vertical incision beginning at the vulva indicates the legs that are separate from the bent knees downward. Shallow grooves mark the tops of the slightly outsplayed feet. The calves of the figure are thick and well-defined when viewed from the side. The back of the figure is carved relatively flat. The deep vertical groove separating the legs begins high between the buttocks. The surface of the fine-grained white marble has patches of brown accretions, some of which are in the pattern of rootlets.(1)

Sandy MacGillivray and Dorothy Abramitis

(1) Quite similar to a figure in a private collection in the UK, see Thimme, Jürgen, ed. Art and Culture of the Cyclades: Handbook of an Ancient Civilisation. Karlsruhe: C. F. Müller, 1977, p. 461, no. 135.

Marble female figure, Marble, Cycladic

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