Cycladic ‘Steatopygous’ Figurine Replica

This is an example of a rare type of Cycladic figurine known as ‘steatopygous’, characterized by a fleshy abdomen and huge thighs and buttocks, all undoubtedly indicative of nourishment and fertility. In contrast, the figure’s upper torso is flat in profile with the arms typically framing V-shaped, pendulous breasts.

There are many examples of such figurines in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Original Cycladic figurines, carved in marble, were produced during the third millennium BC. They are remarkable for their abstract simplicity, which is believed to have inspired modern day artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore.

Cycladic art originates from the The Cyclades, a group of islands in the southwestern Aegean, comprising some thirty small islands, including Naxos and Paros, which were known for the quality of their marble. The ancient Greeks called these islands the Kyklades, imagining them as a circle (kyklos) around the sacred island of Delos, the site of the holiest sanctuary to Apollo and the island thought to be the birthplace of the god and his twin sister Artemis. Our collection of Cycladic figures are reproductions of originals in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens and in the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens.

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The standing female figure of generous proportions, depicted with a protruding abdomen, perhaps pregnant, with broad hips, ample thighs and buttocks, tapering dramatically along the legs, her arms bent inward at her upper torso, covering her breasts, the long cylindrical head on a continuous plane with the neck, with a vertical nose and angled slit eyes, the top of the head flat

3 15/16 in. (10 cm.) high 

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Figurine of a Steatopygous Female

During the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period, sculptors occasionally depicted the female form in a highly schematic manner: flat heads, prominent buttocks, small breasts, slim waists, and eyes and eyebrows that appear as slits. Their style differs from standard Egyptian artistic conventions, indicating that these figures may have been Nubian imports or objects made by or for the poor.

  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • Dates: ca. 1630-1539 B.C.E.
  • Dynasty: late XIII Dynasty-XVII Dynasty
  • Period: Hyksos Period-Second Intermediate Period
  • Dimensions: 4 3/4 x 1 7/16 x 9/16 in. (12 x 3.7 x 1.5 cm)  
  • Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art