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Woman

The location of the Cycladic Islands in the middle of the Aegean Sea provided a convenient haven for trade ships. A distinct culture prospered on the islands, but, since there is no evidence of a written record, little is known about it. However, it is clear that art was produced there from a very early period, and, since marble was indigenous to the islands, it was frequently used to make sculpture. This type of standing (or possibly reclining) female figure was especially popular and presents a fascinating combination of human form and simplified geometry. Many examples were found in or near graves, so they may have been part of funerary or religious ritual. There is evidence that these white marble sculptures were painted—large eyes and jewelry, as well as other markings, were depicted in red, blue, and black. This piece is believed to have once had eyes and a bracelet.

Cycladic (Greece)
Attributed to the Goulandris Master
Woman
2700–2400 BC
Marble
H. 23 5/8 in. (60.0 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 76.25