• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1915

    Antiquities

    6 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 119

    A GREEK MARBLE HEAD OF A WOMAN

    CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 4TH CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GREEK MARBLE HEAD OF A WOMAN
    CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 4TH CENTURY B.C.
    Lifesized, the oval face with fleshy undulating lips, her lidded eyes under pronounced arching brows that merge with the bridge of the nose, forming a single plane with the forehead, the ears pierced for earrings, her wavy hair parted at the center and pulled back, a veil over the back of her head, falling close to her face on the left side with vertical folds, the garment likely once pulled to her right, revealing her hair along the nape of her neck, a mortise at the top of the head for attachment
    8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm.) high


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    That this head is veiled indicates that the subject was a married woman. She may have originally been part of a family funerary scene. As the proper right fold of her veil appears to extend outwards, she likely held the edge of the drapery at shoulder height with her right hand, a gesture associated with brides and married women. Grossman (Greek Funerary Sculpture, p. 7) suggests this pose originated with the ritual unveiling of the bride in a Greek wedding (anakalypteria).
    For a standing draped female in mourning holding her veil, now in the Louvre, see no. 213 in Hamiaux, Les Sculptures Grecques. For a seated example in relief on a marble grave stele, now in the Getty Villa, see no. 7 in Grossman, op. cit.

    Provenance

    New York Art Market, 1960s-1970s.
    Connecticut Private Collection.