You will prepare and submit a term paper on Ancient Ceramics. Your paper should be a minimum of 1250 words in length. The museum indicates the “Statuette of a Standing Woman” is likely of Boeotian origin. Boeotia was a region of north-central Greece that is commonly thought of, because of the depiction offered by the Athenians, as a region of less intelligent and less skilled individuals. However, this collection of small cities sharing a common language includes the location of Thebes, Athens’ arguably greatest rival, so this conception is questionable. It is made even more questionable when looking at the detail of this piece. The artist remains unknown, but the statuette displays no indication that the artist was incapable of understanding the technical attributes of weight, gravity, form and direct modeling to produce a graceful figure that differs from other statues of its period. The statuette is realistically and gracefully posed as compared to other statues created during this period which tended to take on a flatter, more Egyptian-influenced stance. This is perhaps a bit misleading as she is most commonly compared with the much larger statues featured on Greek monuments. In spite of this, the statuette portrays a higher sense of naturalism and personality. This greater depth in the depiction indicates a much higher level of artistry and observation, perhaps even artist support as expressed in the confidence of the piece, that is found in other areas at that time.
The statuette portrays a young woman standing with one hand balanced on a jutting back hip, making it clear that her weight is thrown mostly to her back foot, and her head tilted at an authoritative angle as she twists to look over her right shoulder as if she were awaiting the obedience of a young child. Her face is tilted downward, but there is no sense of deference to her pose. Her front foot peeks out from beneath her skirts with the glimpse of a sharply pointed shoe, somewhat like a modern cowboy boot. Her other hand hangs at her side holding what appears to be the strap of a water jug. This is a strong indication that the statue is intended to depict a woman in her everyday activities, perhaps as she makes her journey to the local fountain and must harness the children along the way.