053. Female Votary - Minoan

053. Female Votary - Minoan

H: 5.48 cm
Allegedly from Tylissos (altar on mountain or Trapeza Grotto?)
Minoan Classical, Pure Style or Style of Princes, MM IIIb-LM Ia
c. 1600-1500 B.C.

Solid-cast by the lost wax process with serious casting faults [1]; a deep groove chased in the cold down the middle of the chest and under each breast.

Condition: patina an uneven green with parts the colour of anthracite and considerable patches of rust-reddish cuprite. The surface is somewhat rough, granular over the back of the skirt with a casting fault above the left buttock. The metal which should have flowed around to form the missing three fifths of the skirt has lumped below the statuette, only attached by a single rod. This is a major casting fault: the metal cooled too fast or was not hot enough to run evenly in the space previously filled by wax to form her skirt; maybe the space was too narrow.

This statuette is seen by the writer as extremely close to the masterpiece in Berlin [2]. Verlinden concurs and ascribes both to the "Style of Princes" which is the highest point [3] in the evolution of these votive statuettes. Notwithstanding the casting fault, a magnificent example of the Classical Style, obviously produced at a high moment of Minoan culture. Delicate in detail, very naturalistic in expression and vibrant with vitality, she epitomizes femininity and dignity.

Verlinden, C.: Statuettes, no. 36, p. 191, pl. 18.
Sapouna-Sakellarakis, E.: PBF I, 5, no. 109, p. 64, pl. 12.

1 By analogy with very close comparisons, Verlinden cat. nos. 33, 34, the height of our figure would have been around or slightly more than 6.5 cm.

2 Berlin, Antikenmuseum Misc. 8092: Verlinden, cat. no. 33.

3 E. Sapouna-Sakellarakis concurs that the Berlin figure and this example are at the acme of Minoan bronze sculpture, charcterized, she says, by their "baroque" style.