This charming small reproduction of a female form has aspects of modern design even though it dates back thousands of year to an early Greek culture in the Cyclades islands of Greece. This type of sculpture is called a Cycladic Idol because many buried statues like this have been found in grave sites and are believed to be some sort of a devotional artifact.
Female Figurines from the Cyclades (Syros, Spedos-type, 2600-2300 BC)Between 3200 and 2000 B.C a highly developed culture flourished on the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. There were fortified, heavily populated settlements, prosperous through sea trade. The art of sculpting was one of the most important aspects of this early culture. The sculptures were mostly executed in beautiful white marble that was amply available on the islands. The touching, stylized female figurines appeal the most to ones with an artistic imagination. These Female Figurines are always portrayed as standing nudes, their arms crossed over their belly. Their faces are smoothed down, angular on the top and round at the bottom. Only the nose is sculpted.
The Cycladic art of sculpting is classified in three types, based on chronology and style. The spedos type, named after a burial site on the island of Naxos, is the one most well known. Little is known about the exact meaning of the female figurines. Some decorations seem to indicate an association with motherhood and fertility. Many of the figurines are found on burial sites which leads to the assumption that they were used during funeral ceremonies. Famous European artists like Moore, Picasso and Modigliani have been inspired by this completely unique style.