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Draped female figure

This female figure wears a tunic and a stola draped over her entire body and kept in place by a circular fibula (ancient brooch) on the left shoulder. Arms and legs are missing. The head also, but not broken off, for it was an inset made of a paler type of stone. The stola shows deeply cut, highly realistic folds. It creates a great play of light and shadow. The tunic hangs loosely underneath the stola, covering her belly and breasts up to the neck. It is not kept in place by the usual ribbons tied horizontally under the breasts or crosswise over the chest. The statue's liveliness is not only due to the drapery but also to the movement of the body underneath. She seems to be standing in a slight contrapposto, leaning on her left leg with the hip thrust slightly to her right, creating a gently curving medial line and lightly compressing her right side. Each bodily feature is in contrast with its counterpart forming a kind of symmetrical asymmetry. This creates a visible 'differentiation' between tension and relaxation, between muscular contraction and expansion. The left arm is quite static keeping the stola in place, but the right is lifted pulling along the tunic in its upward gesture.

Object information

Material:
Basalt
Date and place:
Western Europe, Roman Empire, 2nd century A.D
Dimensions:
Height: 140cm
Provenance:
Ayad Khabbazeh collection, Lebanon, since 1980
Exhibition:
Academia: Qui es-tu?, Paris, Chapelle de l'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, 10 September / 23 November. 2008.

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