Ancient Mediterranean Art Essay

1496 words - 6 pages

Ancient Mediterranean Art
I. Description of a Cycladic female figurine
Cycladic civilization is divided into three periods: Early Cycladic (3000-2000 BC), Middle Cycladic (2000-1500 BC), and Late Cycladic (1500-1100 BC). The large amount of white marble sculptures located in the Cycladic islands, especially Naxos and Paros, a place exclusively made up of female folded-arm figures. These impressive marbles seem to be a symbol of Cycladic art. These figures are the best-known and most appreciated productions of the Cycladic art. Most of the Cycladic figures represent nude females with folded arms. These figures are usually found in grave areas and were probably associated with funeral rites, but some of larger size likely came from settlements or shrines. Many components such as jewelry, marble, pottery, and figures (both male and female) have been found. The example below (Fig.1) is a female figurine from the Bronze Age (2900-2200BC) in the area of Cyclades, an area located between Greece and Turkey. Cyclades is an area composed by thirty-one islands. This standing figure is an example of the late Spedos Variety, named after a famous cemetery on the island of Naxos. The figure has a triangular and lyre-shaped head and the size is quite big, about 67.6 cm. Few other facial details like eyes and mouth were carved. The main features of this figure are arms folded left over right across the stomach. The leg of this figure is slightly bent and the knee is separate apart. Mostly important, the feet are too small to support the whole figure. The toes point downward too. Although the facial features are not detailed, there are double rows of red dots across both checks, the nose and the forehead, creating a kind of decoration. Also, traces of some kind of blue paint seem to appear in the region of the eyes. Furthermore, a curved area in the right side of the narrow head, somehow, was painted in a dark color. It seems that the side lock only appears on the Sepdose Variety of female arm figures. The whole figure is almost flat in shape. This figure seems to be the standing variety of the Neolithic Aegean figurines (Honolulu 138).
In addition, the red and blue pigments were clearly valued by the Cycladic people. Various types of storage containers used to these kinds of pigments such as palette, jars and small clay pots. Nevertheless, the functions and meaning of these figures are still remaining mysterious and unclear. Basically, we believe that those figures served as funerary goods (Cycladic).
II. Male figures in Cycladic period
Male figures also occurred in the Cycladic periods. These male figures also shared the same features of the female figurine. For instance, they both have an almond-shaped head and their facial details are in low relief. Obviously, their arms bent at the elbows with hands crossing their stomach and legs are set apart with horizontal position. The below figure (Fig 2) is one of...

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