Statuette of Artemis

Greek
Archaic Period
about 530–520 B.C.


Place of Manufacture: Greece, Laconia

Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 019; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 118 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height: 19.2 cm (7 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

98.658

Medium or Technique

Bronze

On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

Artemis stands like a minature cult figure, on top of a three-stepped base. She is dressed in a sleeveless peplos of Laconian (the area around Sparta) fashion that is belted at the waist, with its skirt arranged to appear straight in the front with the fullness gathered into seven pleats across the back. Its bodice is distinguished by a short overfall (apoptygma). Appropriately for her appearance in the aspect of a young maiden, Artemis’ hair is dressed in twelve long, crimped locks, three on either side of her face, curving forward from behind her ears and draping over her bodice, while six more spread over her back. Across her forehead, a short fringe ends in curls. A double twisted fillet encircles her head, holding the coiffure in place. Around her neck, she wears a thick choker with a central pendant of a type often found among Laconian bronzes. Her feet, placed side by side on the plinth, are shod in plain yoke-type sandals with layered soles.

The left hand, raised before the figure, holds the remains of a bow (cast together with the hand) - an attribute that identifies the goddess of the hunt. A second hole just behind the bow, now empty, probably held an arrow. The right hand, more tentatively extended, is lower and closer to the body; although only part of it is preserved, enough remains to show that this hand was drilled to hold some attribute, which in this case may have been the legs of a small animal, the huntress’ unfortunate quarry. The right side of the skirt front carries an inscription in carefully incised Laconian letters: “Chimaridas [dedicated this] to [Artemis] Daidaleia.” (Description from M. True in The God’s Delight”, cat. no. 4). Attached to MT.ANC.70.

Inscription

"Chimaridas [dedicated this] to [Artemis] Daidaleia" (on skirt)
ΧΙΜΑΡΙDΑΣΤΑΙDΑΛΕΙΑΙ
Σ in retrograde

Provenance

By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection; 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 139 (according to this catalogue the piece was found at Mazi, near Olympia, in 1897); by 1898: with Edward Perry Warren; 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for
$ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund