Friday, April 27, 2007

Aspasia Type

This statue, a Roman copy of a Greek original from perhaps 460 BCE, is misnamed. It apparently does not represent the celebrated mistress of Pericles, named Aspasia. It may represent a god. It is, in any case, a severely draped woman, almost totally wrapped in a himation, with almost none of the woman's body beneath revealed. What is revealed by these stunning drapery effects, however, is achieved through that elegant concatenation of catenaries under the right shoulder, the beautiful diagonals that hang from the left arm, and that stunningly beautiful diagonal across the middle. The whole sculpture seems to be a massive base for that somber head encased in that deep hood. The only other part of the body revealed are her toes.

Although we would not (I think) refer to this piece as a kore, - it is far too somber, too austere, too self-possessed - there are definite echoes.