Statuette of a Seated Woman

Object Details

Title:

Statuette of a Seated Woman

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (Boeotian)

Date:

600 - 575 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Dimensions:

17 cm (6 11/16 in.)

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Thousands of clay figurines like this one survive from the Archaic period, which lasted from 600 to 480 B.C. Clay was a common, inexpensive, and easily worked material, and these figurines, some highly finished and others very crude, must have appealed to a broad range of people.

Wearing a distinctive tall headdress or polos, a woman sits on a chair or throne. Her flat, plank-like body and sketchily indicated facial features are typical. Small triangular projections schematically indicate her outstretched arms. She wears an elaborately decorated dress and a necklace with a pomegranate pendant. The polos and the pomegranate on the necklace probably indicate that the female figure was meant to represent either the goddess Persephone or Demeter.

Terracotta figurines were produced throughout Greece, but they were especially popular in certain areas like Boeotia, where this one was made. Boeotian artisans especially preferred female figures, either mortal women or goddesses. The figurines were frequently left as dedications to the divinities in religious sanctuaries.

Provenance
- 1967

Unknown [sold, Kunstwerke der Antike, Munzen und Medaillen, Basel, May 6, 1967, lot 49.]

- 1971

Royal Athena Galleries (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1971.

Exhibitions
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
Bibliography

Munzen und Medaillen, Basel. Auktion 34, May 6, 1967. lot 49.

Selected Works from the Ancient Art Collection of the John (sic) Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California (exh. cat.). The Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture, University Park, PA. no. 58.

duBois, Page. Sowing the Body: Psychoanalysis and Ancient Representations of Women. Chicago: 1988. p. 53, ill. fig. 3.