The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in a Museum

The Stargazer (Statuette of a Woman)

Cleveland Museum of Art - Joy of Museums 1

This 5,000-year-old marble sculpture of a female figure is commonly known as “Stargazer” because her eyes are looking upward to the stars above. Similar to Cycladic Art which flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea, this ancient masterpiece is of the Kilia-type figure, named for an evacuation site in Western Anatolia.

Cleveland Museum of Art - Joy of Museums 2

Created in translucent marble, this is a rare piece, her head is sculptured fully in the round, while her body is reduced to a simple yet elegant profile. The nose is depicted as a slender ridge in a straight-line edge.  The head tilted backwards, the eyes are tiny dots raised in relief.

Cleveland Museum of Art - Joy of Museums

Created in the Early Bronze Age, the purpose of this masterpiece is not known. It was discovered in Western Anatolia, which was one of the great crossroads of ancient civilizations. Geographically it is a broad peninsula that lies between the Black and Mediterranean seas. Called Asia Minor or Lesser Asia by the Romans, the land today is part of modern Turkey.

All we can do is speculate on the creative and spiritual forces that created a beautiful mystical figure that is in some way symbolising our search for the divine.

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:                         The Stargazer (Statuette of a Woman)
  • Date:                         c. 3000 BC
  • Period:                     Early Bronze Age
  • Findsite:                  Western Anatolia
  • Medium:                  Marble
  • Dimensions             17.2 x 6.5 x 6.3 cm (6 3/4 x 2 1/2 x 2 7/16 in)
  • Museum:                 Cleveland Museum of Art

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““I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.”
Sappho

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Photo Credit: 1) By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons 

Edit: N     Number: 1993.165