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Cycladic Figure
Cycladic Figure
Date:
Early Cycladic II, late Spedos variety, ca. 2500 BC
Location:
Legion of Honor
Terrace Hallway East
Century:
Media:
Marble
Dimensions:
13 3/8 (34 cm)
Department:
Object Type:
Country:
Continent:
Europe
Culture/People:
Keros Culture
Accession Number:
1981.42
Acquisition Date:
1981-09-02
Credit Line:

Museum purchase, William H. Noble Bequest Fund

Attributed to the Goulandris Master
Nearly five thousand years ago in the Cyclades—a cluster of islands dotting the center of the Aegean Sea—curiously modern and abstract marble figures were carved that were severely simple in form. These figures represent the human body in its most pure, pristine, compact, and essential shape, and bear a striking resemblance to modern works of art. The most impressive and memorable type is the canonical or folded-arm figure, carved according to strict conventions, which is nearly always a nude female with the left arm placed over the right. This figure, with its long, lyre-shaped head, a semi-conical nose, sloping shoulders, narrow arms, and rounded back without any indication of a spine that has been identified as the work of an artist known as the Goulandris Master. In the 20th century, artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Brancusi, Arp, and Moore respected and collected Cycladic art as models of how one can create emotionally stirring, yet highly abstracted, forms.

Contemporaneous Works “Art from the same century and country”

Cycladic Figure
Cycladic Figure (Early Cycladic II, Spedos variety, ca. 2500 BC)
Cycladic Figure
Cycladic Figure (Early Cycladic II, Spedos variety, ca. 2500 BC)
Libation Vessel
Libation Vessel (2500 BC)