The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statuette of a Woman Carrying a Boy on Her Shoulders

Object Details

Title:

Statuette of a Woman Carrying a Boy on Her Shoulders

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (Boeotian)

Place:

Boeotia, Greece (Place Created)

Date:

500–475 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Object Number:

96.AD.102

Dimensions:

15.3 × 5.3 × 4.4 cm (6 × 2 1/16 × 1 11/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

Most Greek art depicts the world of the gods and mythology, or the lives and activities of men in Greek society. Depictions of the lives of everyday women are much less common. This was due mainly to the circumscribed role of women in Greek society. Women ran the house, wove textiles, and raised their children. This terracotta statuette depicts an intimate moment within a Greek household, that of a woman carrying a child piggy-back on her shoulders. The child is nude and the reddish complexion is a standard Greek way of indicating that he is a boy. The Greeks honored and valued the bond between mother and child. The upper-classes, however, still entrusted the care of their children to household slaves. It is therefore unclear whether this woman is the child's mother or a nurse.

Terracotta statuettes depicting scenes from daily life were popular in Boeotia in the early 400s B.C. The statuettes were modeled by hand and the unknown artist has carefully added the facial details. Much of the red, black and white paint that was applied after the figure was fired still remains today.

Provenance
Provenance
-

Baron Hans von Schoen, German (Cureglia-Lugano, Switzerland)

- 1992

Charles Ede, Ltd. (London, England), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1992.

1992 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (August 23, 2003 to December 5, 2004)
  • Hood Museum of Art (Hanover), August 23 to December 14, 2003
  • Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati), May 21 to August 1, 2004
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004
Bibliography
Bibliography

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), pp. 104-6, cat. no. 45.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 67.

Mihalopoulos, Catie. Images of Women and Concepts of Popular Culture in Classical Athens: 450-400 B.C. Ph.D. diss., University of Southern California, 2001, p. 213; fig. 54.

Neils, Jenifer and John H. Oakley, eds. Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, exh. cat. (Hanover, NH: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College).

Spivey, Nigel and Squire, Michael. Panorama of the Classical World (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2004), p. 240, fig. 379.