Statuette of a Seated Woman

Photograph from the side of a bronze statuette depicting a seated young woman looking down at her hand, which is held horizontally above her lap.

Statuette of a Seated Woman, Possibly Sappho

Description:
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 22 cm (greatest extent); Object (base); H. 4 cm; W. 8.5 cm; D. 13.2 cm
Context:
Rome, Italy
Date:
Roman, 200 BCE–200 CE
Inventory Number:
Bronze.1046
Lender:
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
Serge Oboukhoff © BnF-CNRS-Maison Archéologie & Ethnologie, René-Ginouvès

Her hair parted and tied with a headband, this young woman wears a chiton (dress) fastened with a brooch and a belt. She seems to have once supported an object in her left arm, perhaps a scroll. Several female authors are known from antiquity, but few portraits have been identified. The seventh-century-BCE poet Sappho was the most famous, and this finely crafted statuette may be a fanciful representation of her.