Statuette of Draped Woman


About this object

Statuette of a heavily draped woman in a conventional chiton and mantle that reveals little of her body. Although the draped folds are rather repetitive, interesting details are the bunching of the thin chiton along the sleeves and the pattern of folds in the hemline of the chiton. There is a little movement in her posture, the right leg is bent and arched, the left leg rooted on the plinth.
Bartman believed that the small head in profile ( one sixth of the total height ) corresponds to the proportional system introduced by Lysippos in the later 4th century BC. The inspiration for the statuette most have originated from ancient Greece but was executed in the Roman period. The head also evokes the post classical age in the severe expression. The hair is simply arranged with waves, emanating from the central part and hanging loosely around the face, ending in a low bun. Stray wisps escape in front of the ears and above the forehead and some longer tresses behind the ears fall onto the shoulders. There is a bowtie knot at the top of the crown. Such knots are usually associated with Aphrodite although the clothing of this statue does not match that of an Aphrodite. Blundell and others interpreted the statuette as Ceres and this would correspond to the clothing and the posture of the deity but not the coiffure and the knot at the top of the head. Bartman proposed the combination of a feminine coiffure with the heavy drapery to be relevant to Hygeia or a Muse. However the lack of any atrributes in the statuette make its interpretation enigmatic.

Restorations include the right arm from above the elbow, the edge of the sleeve, the left arm and wrist and hand, parts of the diagonal fold of the drapery. The mantle has also been reworked many of the drapery folds made deeper and evened out. The head was broken and reattached with a sliver of marble. The nose was probably recut as well as the mouth and the jawline.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    2nd century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item currently on loan
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    1290 mm x 420 mm x 305 mm x 242 kg
  • Note
    A 1959 photograph shows the statuette at the top of the staircase of the Ince Blundell Hall, in an niche standing on a cinerary urn, a common mode for an 18th century display.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

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    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.


Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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