Weeping Siren

Greek
Late Classical Period
about 375–325 B.C.


Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 071; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 108 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height: 36.7 cm (14 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

03.757

Medium or Technique

Marble, from Mount Pentelikon, near Athens

On View

Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The siren stood with her wings outspread, her left leg advanced. Her right hand is raised, clutching her hair, the ends of which fall loosely on her shoulders; her left hand is pressed to her breast. The pose of the hands expresses violent grief, and this is brought out even more strongly in the face, with its contracted brows and puckered lips. The surface of the body is modeled with great delicacy. Slight chisel marks on the thighs suggest feathers and form a transition to the bird’s legs, which begin at the knees.
Missing: the greater portions of the arms, wings and tail, and the legs below the knees. The right wing was broken off in antiquity and refastened by means of two large iron dowels, which are still in place. The broken edge of the left wing and a small portion of the body at the back have been worked down in modern times, apparently in order to fit the figure to a background. There is a modern drill hole in the back of the neck. The surfaces are in average condition for the Attic funerary monument.

Provenance

By 1903: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: "Bought by E. P. W. of Ready, who bought of a (lady) singer who said it had been given to her by Carmen Sylva, Queen of Roumania."); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 24,1903

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900