Aphrodite or woman nursing a baby (Kourotrophos)

Cypro-Archaic period
late 6th B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 443.


10.2 cm (4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; limestone

Not On View


The Ancient World



This female figure of the Kourotrophos (Nursing Woman) type is seated frontally on a high-backed throne, with heavy arms, holding a child across her lap. She wears a long garment and a necklace. Her feet are bare. The child suckles her left breast. There are traces of pink color.

This statuette of a seated woman holding a child belongs to a type called a “kourotrophos.” The general type was long-lived, with examples ranging from the 6th c. B.C through the Hellenistic period. The woman often wears a veil, though the head is missing in this example. These figurines may represent mortal women, but some scholars instead interpret them as female divinities. Many examples of this type come from several sanctuaries at Golgoi, and they have been found at Idalion as well.

Condition: The woman’s head, neck, right thigh (outer part) are broken away; the baby’s body is chipped; and most of the upper back of the throne is missing. There is superficial damage elsewhere, but the surfaces are in generally good condition. The back, bottom and outsides of the throne are squared off and smoothed.


By date unknown: with General Luigi Palma di Cesnola (from Cyprus); May 16, 1872: purchased by MFA from General Luigi Palma di Cesnola for
$ 1,704.39 (this figure is the total price for MFA 72.1-72.473 and 72.4871-72.4900)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by subscription