Head of a Young Woman from a Grave Naiskos

Object Details

Title:

Head of a Young Woman from a Grave Naiskos

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (Attic)

Place:

Athens, Greece (Attica) (Place created)

Date:

about 320 B.C.

Medium:

Marble

Dimensions:

34.3 × 15.6 × 22.2 cm (13 1/2 × 6 1/8 × 8 3/4 in.)

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Originally part of a funerary monument, this head of a girl displays facial features and a hairstyle typical of Athenian sculpture in the late 300s B.C. The girl's oval face, small, bow-shaped mouth, and deep-set, thick-lidded eyes derive from features made popular in the preceding decades in the work of the sculptor Praxiteles. She wears her hair parted in rows, braided and pulled back, a style called a melon coiffure by scholars. On the girl's neck, there are two widely spaced fleshy rings with an indentation between them, so-called "Venus rings." This trait was probably a status symbol, indicating the health and good nutrition provided by wealth.

This head was made separately and inserted into a body carved in relief on the back slab of a naiskos, or small three-sided funerary monument. The flat surfaces on the back of the head rested against the slab. They show that the girl was posed in a three-quarter frontal view.

Provenance
- 1956

Nicolas Koutoulakis (Paris, France and Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1956.

Exhibitions
Herculaneum Women Installation (November 8, 2007 to October 13, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), November 8, 2007 to October 13, 2008
Collector's Choice: J. Paul Getty and His Antiquities (November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010
Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique (November 2, 2011 to May 20, 2012) (10)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), November 2, 2011 to January 16, 2012
  • Musee Picasso (Antibes), February 16 to May 20, 2012
Bibliography

The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1956), p. 13, no. 20.

Bulletin of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Art (Malibu: 1957), p. 8.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965), pp. 59 and 68; ill. p. 59.

Stothart, Herbert. Handbook of the Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum. (Malibu(?), 1965), p. 13-14, no. A56.S-16, pl. 3.

Schmidt, G. "Der Brunnsche Kopf," Antike Plastik 6 (1970), pp. 71-74, p. 33.

The J. Paul Getty Collection, exh. cat. (Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1972), addendum, p. 43, no. 8.

Vermeule, Cornelius, and Norman Neuerberg. Catalogue of the Ancient Art in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973), p. 6, no. 8.

Frel, Jiří. Antiquities in the J. Paul Getty Museum: A Checklist; Sculpture I: Greek Originals (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1979), p. 20, no. 76.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Greek Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections at the Getty Villa (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 63-65, cat. no. 22.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 64, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 5, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 26.

Green, Christopher, and Jens M. Daehner. Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Leger, and Picabia (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), 48, 152, no. 10; pl. 16.