'Violin' figurine

Early Bronze Age, around 2800 BC
From the island of Amorgos, the Cyclades, Aegean Sea

An example of the schematic figurine

Throughout the Early Bronze Age in the Cyclades (approximately the third millennium BC) marble figurines were produced in two basic types: schematic and naturalistic. Schematic types, like this example, are most common in the earliest period of figurine production, though they continued to be made in parallel to the naturalistic examples.

This figure, with its characteristic outline, belongs to the so-called 'violin' type. Many 'violin' figures are completely plain, but in this piece the addition of breasts, arms and the pubic triangle makes the relationship to the human body more obvious. The head is simply an elongated prong, a very common form among the schematic figurines. The legs are not apparent at all. There are many seated or squatting female figures among the Neolithic predecessors to this type, and they frequently have legs that are diminutive or tucked away completely.

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More information


J.L. Fitton, Cycladic art, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)


Height: 11.100 cm

Museum number

GR 1889.5-21.2 (Sculpture A 7)



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