Grave stele of a little girl

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Grave stele of a little girl

Stephanie Sjaastad
Nancy Catandella
HWA 160L 112
18 November 2013

Ancient Greek art is something to be admired; the accuracy of the figures, compared to Egyptian art is commendable. The art works show great depths of emotion and detail. The “Grave stele of a little girl” is a beautiful relief of what appears to be a small child holding two birds. The forearm resembles a young child’s arm because it seems that the “baby fat” is still present, but it is strange that the face has less-childish features. The figure is in strict profile, which possibly suggests a Greek sculptor, in addition to the intricate detail and the contrapposto. Egyptian sculptors did not have
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One of the doves is just resting on her left hand, clinging to her fingers, but the other dove is held very close to her chest and face as if

1. "Grave stele of a little girl [Greek]" (27.45) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.

she is saying farewell. Although the bird on her left hand is headless, it appears that the head would have also been facing the girl. Children in Ancient Greek grave reliefs are typically depicted with their pets, so most likely, this girl was very fond of her two doves.1 Ancient Greeks typically marked their graves with steles while serving as a monument for the deceased; the steles rarely revealed the deceased age in the engraving.2 A stele is defined as “a carved stone block, slab, or pillar, generally decorated with relief sculpture,” that ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Greeks used for grave and site markers, as memorials and monuments.3 The deceased were typically depicted through these reliefs; in relation to their character and social position.4
The young girl appears to be wearing a peplos—a full-length robe worn by women in Ancient Greece—that is clasped over the shoulders.5 The material seems to be very thin; the smooth texture of the cloth defines both of her legs. Also the fabric is unsewn near her waist, which shows the drapery and the folds that it forms
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