The head is sculpted in an oval shape, on a conical neck. The only apparent detail of the face is the nose, carved in relief. The eyes and the mouth were originally painted, along with other decorative patterns.
On the left hand side of the head, what appears to be a delicate strand of hair is carved.
The important size of this head allows to assume that the complete piece must have been a remarkable example.
This head is characteristic of the Spedos type. Marble idols are the most famous testament to the spectacular rise of the Cyclades during the ancient Bronze Age. But their meaning still remains enigmatic. Found in funerary or domestic contexts, they probably were associated with religious rites. Originally painted, some retain traces of their past polychromy. Those Cycladic idols devoid of their polychromy captured the imagination of modern artists, such as Picasso, Brancusi, Laurens, Giacometti, Arp, and Moore, in search of a new language of expression far from figuration. The collector and publisher Christian Zervos was a forerunner in his aesthetic approach to the civilisation of the Cyclades. He largely contributed to introducing new sources of inspiration to a number of artists who frequented the rue du Dragon (headquarters of the Éditions Cahiers d’art and his gallery).
Cycladic art, Spedos type, circa 2600-2500 BC
Height : 14cm
Former Swiss private collection, acquired in the 1960’s
A rapport from Pat Getz-Gentle dated 2015 accompanies the artwork
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