Statue of a woman, Spedos type

Early Aegean, Cycladic
Bronze Age, Early Bronze Age
about 2600–2500 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Cyclades, Greece

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 003; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 106 (additional published references).


Height x width: 111 x 21 cm (43 11/16 x 8 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble from the Greek islands

Not On View


The Ancient World



The right arm is folded above the left, and the legs are separated from the knees to the ankles. The feet point downward, and the toes are carved. The woman was never made to stand; she had to have been laid out on a ceremonial table or bier, probably just before she was consigned to the tomb.
The statue was broken in antiquity, evenly through the neck and just below the knees. Traces of paint, or the impression made by paint, can be seen for the eyes, and possibly the mouth. The surfaces are slightly pitted, and there is some minor chipping, but the rich yellow-orange patina overlays all and enhances the general impressiveness of the figure. The character of the breaks suggests that after use in some form of funerary ceremony, the image was deliberately separated into three sections for placement in a rectangular, rock-cut tomb which otherwise would have been too small for this extraordinary sculpture.


Said to be from Kufonisi, a small island in the middle of the Cyclades. 1967: Münzen und Medaillen, Basel and André Emmerich Gallery, 41 East 57th Street, New York 10022 (shipped from Basel to New York in March, 1967); purchased by MFA from André Emmerich Gallery, September 13, 1967.

Credit Line

Centennial Fund