Grave stele of a little girl

Topics: Sculpture, Ancient Greece, Greek alphabet Pages: 4 (1595 words) Published: November 20, 2013


Grave stele of a little girl

Stephanie Sjaastad
Nancy Catandella
HWA 160L 112
18 November 2013

Ancient Greek art is something to be admired; the accuracy of the figures, compared to Egyptian art is commendable. The art works show great depths of emotion and detail. The “Grave stele of a little girl” is a beautiful relief of what appears to be a small child holding two birds. The forearm resembles a young child’s arm because it seems that the “baby fat” is still present, but it is strange that the face has less-childish features. The figure is in strict profile, which possibly suggests a Greek sculptor, in addition to the intricate detail and the contrapposto. Egyptian sculptors did not have the anatomical accuracy of human figures that the Greek artists did. The girl has her left leg slightly bent while the other appears to remain straight, suggesting the shift of weight onto the right leg. The arch in her back shows a relaxed stance, along the presence of the contrapposto. Because of this sculptor’s knowledge with the contrapposto, this relief could have been made around 500-400 B.C.E. Sculptures like the Kritios Boy, the Riace Warrior, and Doryphoros all imply a time of great mastery of the contrapposto. These three sculptures were created in a time frame of ca. 480-440 B.C.E., therefore, the Grave stele of a little girl was most likely created around that time also. The relief looks like it was carved from marble because of white sandstone color and the smooth texture. The marble seems like the same color and texture as many other ancient Greek sculptures. The work is not very monumental in height; it is probably an estimated two feet, if not larger. This relief, opposed to the others in the Metropolitan Museum, has a different language, possibly because it is of a child and not a hero. The softness of the piece tells its own story. There seems to be sadness in her expression; however, this emotionless face is...

Bibliography: "Grave stele of a little girl [Greek]" (27.45) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.
Department of Greek and Roman Art. "Death, Burial, and the Afterlife in Ancient Greece". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.
Wadlow, Anne. “Stelai (Grave Memorials).” Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2001.
Delahunt, Michael. “Steles” Artlex Art Dictionary. 2010.
“Stele.” Boundless. http://www.boundless.com/art-history/ancient-greece/high-classical-period/stele/
Wilson, Nigel. Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. (Psychology Press, 2006). 693.
Koda, Harold. "The Chiton, Peplos, and Himation in Modern Dress". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000
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