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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Archive : Cypriot Limestone Sculpture of a Priestess
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Cypriot Limestone Sculpture of a Priestess - X.0100
Origin: Cyprus
Circa: 5 th Century BC
Dimensions: 20" (50.8cm) high
Collection: Classical
Medium: Limestone

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: Great Britain
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Although bearded male figures carved from limestone have a long history in Cypriot sculpture, dating from the end of the seventh to the fifth century B.C., their female counterparts only began to commonly appear in the beginning of the sixth century B.C. These female figures can be typified by their rich ornamentation, including necklaces, earrings, and headdress, and by their rigid posture and flat bodies. This stunning sculpture, carved out of native Cypriot limestone, is a perfect example of this type. Unlike the earliest female sculptures, these figures do not represent the Great Goddess; but, judging from their ornate adornment, it is believed these women represented priestesses, or perhaps even worshippers of the goddess. While some of these priestesses are depicted playing musical instruments, others hold an offering to the gods, such as a piece of fruit or a flower, as is the case with this example. This priestess wears a beaded necklace. A broad diadem crowns her head; her hair radiates outwards from the headdress, framing her forehead in schematic curls and falling in long tresses over her shoulder. This gorgeous sculpture is a masterpiece of Cypriot art, revealing the distinct characteristics that make the Cypriot style so unique in the cannon of ancient art. - (X.0100)


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