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Nikandre, inscription on lower left side of figure

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Nikandre, detail of feet emerging beneath dress

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Nikandre, detail of right hand and hips

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Nikandre, left profile, mid-section of figure

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Nikandre, general view from left

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Nikandre, detail of waist and belt

Collection: Athens, National Archaeological Museum
Title: Nikandre
Context: From Delos, Sanctuary of Artemis
Findspot: Excavated at Delos, Sanctuary of Artemis (1878) in Delos
Summary: Standing woman with her feet together and her hands at her sides
Object Function: Votive
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Free-standing statue: kore
Category: Single sculpture
Style: Daedalic
Technique: In-the-round
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 640 BC - ca. 630 BC
Dimensions: H. 1.90 m; D. 0.17 m
Scale: Life-size
Region: Cyclades
Period: Early Archaic

Subject Description:

The statue depicts a standing female, probably a priestess, who seems to be clothed in a long sheath-like garment, bound at the waist with a broad belt (in the same manner as the Auxerre Goddess). Also like the Auxerre Goddess her hair, in Daedalic style, is divided into two large masses that spread over her shoulders, and the locks are articulated on all sides with vertical and horizontal ridges.

As the dedicatory inscription seems to indicate, the statue may represent the woman who dedicated it to Apollo--Nikandre, daughter of Deinodikes of Naxos, sister of Deinomenes, wife of Phraxos. As suggested by Boardman, Nikandre was probably a priestess at the Sanctuary of Artemis, where the statue was found. The dedication to Apollo is appropriate, as he was Artemis' brother.

Form & Style:

This extremely flat kore (no thicker than 0.17 m), is a quadrifacial (four-sided) composition whose narrow sides are so thin that they render the figure virtually two-dimensional. This flatness might suggest that the statue was intended for placement against a wall, although the equally detailed carving on the front and back might indicate otherwise.

On the basis of the findspot and the marble, the statue is thought to be the work of a Naxian sculptor.

Date Description: The Nikandre statue is the earliest complete marble Kore, dated comparably to the Auxerre goddess, although the greater surface detail on the latter is thought to have resulted from the greater ease with which stone workers could carve the limestone out of which that statue was made.

Condition: Nearly complete

Condition Description: Broken at the waist into two pieces, which are now rejoined. Both arms were broken near the elbow, along the same break-line as the waist, and the lower left arm is missing; portions of both hands are preserved where they are attached to the hips. Both hands are pierced by drill holes<—>to a depth of 0.06 m in the right hand, and straight through in the left hand; presumably metal additions, perhaps gifts for the gods, were attached with these holes. The surface is weathered with stains and incrustations ranging in color from reddish-brown to light gray, and is heavily scratched and eroded. The dedicatory inscription, however, is well preserve

Material Description: Naxian marble

Technique Description: The arms and feet are attached to the torso (they feet are shown to emerge from beneath the skirt, but are not sharply cut away from the stone around them). This feature, the plank-like thinness, and the severe erosion that has resulted in barely recognizible facial features might suggest that the statue was not completed. The past tense of the inscription and the findspot of the statue (in the Sanctuary of Artemis), however, indicate that the dedication indeed took place, and the statue must have seemed sufficiently complete before dedication. On the basis of the flatness, and rough carving, some have come to regard Nikandre as an example of 'xoana,' or legendary cult statues carved out of wooden trunks.

Inscription: On the left side of the statue:*N*I*K*A*N*D*R*H *M'*A*N*E*Q*E*K*E*N [*E]*K*H*B*O*L*O*I *I*O*X*E*A*I*R*H*I*K*O*R*H *D*E*I*N*O*D*I*K*E*O *T*O *N*A*X*I*O *E*C*O*X*O*S *A*L[*L]*E*O*N*D*E*I*N*O*M*E*N*E*O*S *D*E *X*A*S*I*G*N*E*T*H *F*R*A*C*O*U *D'*A*L*O*X*O*S *M[*H*N], "Nikandre dedicated me to the far-shooter of arrows, the excellent daughter of Deinodikes of Naxos, the sister of Deinomenes, the wife of Phraxos."

Sources Used: Boardman 1978a, 25, fig. 71; Karouzou 1968, 3; Richter 1968, 26 no. 1, fig.s 25-28