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Knidian Caryatid Torso, detail of right profile including hand

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Knidian Caryatid Torso, mid-section of torso, frontal view

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Knidian Caryatid Torso, detail of left shoulder

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Knidian Caryatid Torso, frontal view

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Knidian Caryatid Torso, right profile

Collection: Delphi Archaeological Museum
Title: Knidian Caryatid torso
Context: From Delphi
Findspot: Excavated at Delphi
Summary: Caryatid torso
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Architectural
Category: Single sculpture
Placement: Column
Style: High Archaic
Technique: In-the-round
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 540 BC
Scale: Over life-size
Region: Phocis
Period: High Archaic

Subject Description:

This torso, one of a pair (the second is in even more fragmentary condition), are the earliest of the Delphi caryatids. The fragments were found in the area of the Treasuries but cannot be assigned to any particular one on the basis of provenance. Their early date has led to an association with the Knidian Treasury, although it is not certain that the architecture of this treasury supports the assignment (GuideDelphMu 1991, 39). Thus, the attribution of these caryatids remains somewhat uncertain.

The figure is dressed in a chiton of fine fabric, visible on the left shoulder and covering the lower torso. With her right hand she pulls the chiton to the side. The narrow, radiating folds which result from it being stretched across the abdomen and legs are indicated by incised lines, with shallow hollows in between. The himation is made of a soft, heavier cloth, as indicated by the deeply carved vertical folds with rounded edges. It is arranged with a short central box pleat, with the narrower folds on either side descending in roughly parallel fashion. It is worn over one shoulder and under the opposite arm, in the common Ionic manner.

The fragments of this kore's twin preserve fat tresses and the mass of hair at the back divided into round beads. Heavily weathered.

Condition: Fragmentary

Condition Description:

Restored from a number of joining fragments, including left shoulder, torso, legs and right hand.

Associated Building: Delphi, Treasury of the Knidians (XXV)

Collection History:

Found over a period of years between 1894 and 1900 in the area of the Treasuries.

Sources Used:

GuideDelphMu 1991, 39; La Coste-Messelière and Marcadé 1953, 346ff.