Idol

Cycladic

replica: from the Louvre, Paris

date of the original: 3000-2000 BC

provenance of the original: Cyclades, Aegean Sea

description: Standing female figure. Resin replica; marble original. On base: height 42.5 cm, width 13 cm, depth 8 cm.

This highly abstracted figure is the creation of a pre-Hellenic population of the Cycladic Islands in the second or third millennium BC. Most such figures are female, dubbed fertility goddesses with more imagination than evidence. (See also: Idol 2.) There are, in fact, also a few male figures of the same type. The latter are difficult to classify and have no label attached to them as yet. The function of the figures was perhaps religious as well as funerary--as the great number discovered in graves seems to indicate.

This figure was done with great sensitivity. Its flatness suggests two-dimensionality while the incurvations, slight protuberances and incisions suggest three-dimensionality.