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Head of a Young Woman from a Grave Naiskos

Object Details

Title:

Head of a Young Woman from a Grave Naiskos

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (Attic)

Place(s):

Athens, Greece (Attica) (Place created)

Date:

about 320 B.C.

Medium:

Marble

Dimensions:

34.3 x 15.6 x 22.2 cm (13 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 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 (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to J. Paul Getty, 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, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique (November 2, 2011 to May 20, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), November 2, 2011 to January 16, 2012, (Cat. 10)
  • Musee Picasso, (Antibes), February 16 to May 20, 2012, (Cat. 10)
Bibliography

The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. Los Angeles: 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.

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: 1973. p. 6, no. 8.

Frel, Jirí. Antiquities in the J. Paul Getty Museum. A Checklist. Sculpture I. Greek Originals. Malibu: May 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.

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.