The cup-bearer. 2800-2300 BC

Information from the Museum's website:

'the cup-bearer'

Marble, Cycladic. Early Cycladic II period - Syros phase

2800-2300 BC

H.: 15.2 cm

Unknown provenance

Description: In addition to the numerous female figurines, Cycladic sculptors also produced a series of elegant compositions of "special form". Among them are standing and seated males engaged in an activity (musicians, flute-players and lyre-players), seated females and groups of two or three figures. Most of these works date from the early phase of the Early Cycladic II period.

The "cup-bearer' in the MCA is a rare type of seated figure and the only intact example of its kind to date. Although the gender is not indicated, it is considered to represent a male figure because it is shown "in action". The figure sits on an integral marble stool and holds a cup in its right hand, poised as if ready to propose a toast or perform a libation. Specific morphological elements, such as the plasticity of the volumes and the parted legs, place the figurine among the early works of the "Spedos variety".


Works such as this depart from the immobility of the "canonical" female figurines and succeed in conveying movement, thus conquering, as it were, three-dimensional space, as well as a sense of time. The use of most "special" figurines remains enigmatic, but the fact that certain types are reproduced suggests that they had a specific function, possibly as votive offerings or ritual objects.

Cycladic Art Museum, Athens, Greece.


Μουσείο Κυκλαδικής Τέχνης. Αθήνα.

1 fave
Taken on February 22, 2009