Marble female figurine

Folded arm type. The head is flat and is tilted slightly backwards. The nose, in relief, prismatic, divides the face. The breasts are rendered as swellings. The arms are folded below the breast with the left above the right. The abdomen is swollen, probably to represent pregnancy. The pubes is indicated by incision. The buttocks are emphasized by an angular protrusion. The knees are slightly bent, and the legs are separated by a deep channel. The feet, which hang free, are turned slightly outward, and the four toes that are shown by incision point downwards. The spine is indicated by a shallow channel that deepens from the buttocks down.

The marble figurines are the most wonderful creations of Cycladic art. They first appear, in limited numbers, during the Early Cycladic I period (3300/3200 – 2800 BC), and reach a height during the Early Cycladic II period (2800/2700 – 2100 BC). The folded arm type of figurine, as the one shown here, belongs to the Early Cycladic II period and has been found chiefly in graves. They have been interpreted variously, as a psychopompos or guide of souls, as toys, as apotropaic figures, the goddess of fertility or other divinities, divine protectors of the dead on the final journey to the other world, or as nurses.

Y. Venieri