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A GREEK MARBLE GIRL
A GREEK MARBLE GIRL

LATE CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 340-330 B.C.

Details
A GREEK MARBLE GIRL
LATE CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 340-330 B.C.
Depicted lifesized, standing in contrapposto with her weight on her left leg, her right bent slightly at the knee, wearing a high-girt chiton with maschalisteres (shoulder straps) over the shoulders and crossing her back, the drapery bunching from the straps and falling in thick vertical folds below the belt, and clinging to her slightly advanced right leg, both arms originally lowered, the left hand pulling the edge of the overfold to cradle two doves
31 in. (78.7 cm.) high
Provenance
with Jean-Philippe Mariaud de Serres, Paris, 1982.

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Lot Essay

The pose and style of the drapery of this statue of a girl recall the figures of attendants on Attic funerary stelai (see, for example, the girl holding a pyxis, the servant of Eukoline, no. 318 in N. Kaltsas, Sculpture in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens). The same high-girt chiton with shoulder straps is seen on a figure in the Kimbell Art Museum, which, like the statue presented here, is sculpted in the round and stands in contrapposto. The Kimbell girl is thought to represent a temple attendant dedicated in a sanctuary (see no. 103 in J. Neils and J.H. Oakley, Coming of Age in Ancient Greece). Marble statues of young children holding cherished pets or toys have been found at the sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron in Attica (see fig. 12, in Neils and Oakley, op. cit.). The authors suggest (p. 152, op. cit.) they probably served as thank-offerings on the part of parents for the goddess's help during childbirth, rather than as statues of arktoi, the she-bears associated with her rituals. For other statues of girls, including one holding a dove, see the examples from the sanctuary of the birth goddess Eileithyia in Athens (nos. 559-560 in Kaltsas, op. cit.).
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