Over such a long period, different phases have been defined. All these figures, however, have many similarities suggesting that they met an artistic canon in the same way as the canon of Buddha 3000 years later. The great care to follow some geometrical laws anticipates Polycletus by 2500 years.
The Cycladic marble figures most often show pregnant women protecting their belly with their folded arms. The body is composed of five parts of equal height. The carved details of the body are stylized and very sharp. The improvement in the technique of sculpture brought the separation of the thighs.
The position of the feet does not enable to stand up. The head slightly thrown backwards confirms that they are used as recumbents. They were colored : some units preserve the traces of pigments absorbed by the stone.
The Spedos variety, spanning two centuries around 4500 years ago, marks a culmination of this art. On July 6 in London, Christie's sells a late Spedos figure, lot 36 estimated £ 300K. This statuette 40 cm high is amputated below the knees. It is much appealing with a nice rounding of the head, shoulders and hips.
It is slightly earlier in style to the work of the Schuster Master. A complete figure meeting this designation, 29 cm high, was sold for $ 16.9 million including premium by Christie's on December 9, 2010. The angular shoulders, less realistic, are paving the way for the modern art of the bygone eras. The triangle of the lower abdomen highlights the symbol of fertility.
SOLD for £ 1.2M including premium
Please watch the video shared by Christie's announcing the Spedos figure of the next sale :