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Women of Marble - Cycladic Reclining Female Figures

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The positive space occupied by the object is indicative of the shape of a human female who is perhaps standing or lying somewhere straight with folded arms. The lines, horizontal and vertical are used to form the object giving different shapes to the body. Horizontal lines are used to form the shoulders, neck, torso, arms, knees and feet of the figure. However, the use of vertical lines suggests forming the shape of the legs and nose. The horizontal and vertical lines have been used in combination to form different shapes in the figure with curved lines showing thighs and legs.

The texture of the statue gives the sense of hardness with slender features that seem to be delicate and fragile and would get broken if mishandled. On the whole, formal analysis of the reclining female figure shows that the figure is dull in colour, with geometrical shapes, curved, horizontal and vertical lines and hard but delicate texture (Hammel, 2011). The reclining female figure belongs to the Cycladic civilization that was famous for the collection of marble figures which people of this civilization used to make (Hammel, 2011).

That civilization spread around the Aegean Sea and people living close to the sea on a group of islands were the followers of Cycladic civilization. That period was characterized by advancement in art and technology among which the use of marble for making statues was one art. The period was composed of 3000- 1100 BC which is particularly known as Aegean Bronze Age. Cyclades people came to Aegean islands in search of a specific volcanic rock for making tools and weapons. They also made pottery by making use of poor clay substance and later on started making small figurines ranging from few inches to nearly a foot in size out of marble.

The types of figurines made by them were the ones among whom the reclining female figure is one. These little figurines are also known as ‘ Folded-Arm Figurines’ and were mostly of females. These figures were used for spiritual purposes and were found in graves and multiple burials of people of that age. The piece was displayed at the time of burial but became private property for the family of the deceased as a memorial.  

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