Marble statue of a woman seated in a chair

East Greek, made about 530-510 BC
Found at Didyma, modern Turkey

An unfinished statue

Many statues were found along the Sacred Way of the Temple of Apollo at Didyma. The different styles of statue point towards a long period of dedication by local dignitaries. Some of these were perhaps benefactors who contributed towards the great costs of the new building programme in the sanctuary during the sixth century BC. This figure, although unfinished (her chair is only roughly worked), is one of the most stylistically advanced of the statues. The heavily-built woman wears a chiton (tunic), a himation (cloak) over the shoulders and a veil. The material over the upper body clings tightly to the rounded contours; there is more effort made to show the relationship between the garments and the body beneath than in some similar figures. This is particularly noticeable around the right leg, where the extremely thin material clings to the shin and calf muscles. Between the legs, the chiton closely follows the shape of the chair.

The Sanctuary of Apollo at Didyma was among the richest in the east Greek world during the Archaic period of Greek art (about 600-480 BC). Wealthy citizens, some of them local rulers (like Chares, whose statue is also in The British Museum), set up statues of themselves either along the Sacred Way or in the sanctuary itself. These were probably all dedicated to the god Apollo. The statues were not intended to be true portraits, but general representations of individual benefactors who were identified only by inscriptions. The woman represented in this statue was probably a member of the local aristocracy but, unfortunately, has no accompanying inscription.

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More information

Bibliography

K. Tuchelt, Die archäischen Skulpturen von (Berlin, Gebr.Mann, 1970)

Dimensions

Height: 1.250 m

Museum number

GR 1859.12-26.9 (Sculpture B 280)

GAA9041

Excavated by Sir Charles Thomas Newton

Location

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