Alabaster female figure, Yemen, 3rd-1st century B.C.

Arabia began its artistic splendor at the beginning of the first millennium B.C. Until the 5th century B.C. it was characterized by a style of geometrical and stylized forms that became softer from that moment on. Moreover, as it is a land where different cultural conquests have taken place, an atmosphere rich in artistic influences has been created. It is a female figure of alabaster made in such a way that it seems to be seated because of the position of the hands and feet. It is a very simple figure that insinuates the shape of the woman's breasts and with a greater detail in the face, using the resource of the eyes and the eyebrows to provide the portrayed person with greater personality. This figure can be included in the group of Arabic votive sculptures made up of enthroned women and female heads that were made in alabaster, all of them presenting very similar facial features. From a stylistic point of view, they develop a very personal style based on the realization of the human figure with strong and simple forms, sometimes too stylized, accompanied by a fine modeling of the stone. The similarity between this type of figures and the repetition of the technical and stylistic canons may indicate the realization of these figures as votive sculptures made as offerings in some kind of ritual.


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