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'Violin' figurine


Height: 11.100 cm

GR 1889.5-21.2 (Sculpture A 7)

Room 11: Cycladic Islands

    '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.

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


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    On display: Room 11: Cycladic Islands

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