No.: G 81
Date Range: Mid of the 5th century BC
H. 20, 1 cm, W. 10, 7 cm
Material: Limestone
Provenance: according to the register: Idalion, Cyprus

  • Kourotrophos. Statuette
  • Kourotrophos. Statuette
  • Kourotrophos. Statuette
  • Kourotrophos. Statuette

In 1870 the Kourotrophos came from the Landemuseum Joanneum to the Archaeological collections to Graz as a result of exchange. The acquisition date of 1862, which is registered in the inventory book refers probably to the purchase of the sculptures out of the collection of the botanist and traveler to Cyprus Franz Unger. He bought the 80 sculptures made of limestone in Larnaka in 1862 and handed them over to the Joanneum.
Almost half of the sculptures, around 41 including fragments, consists of Kourotrophoi.
The figurine shows minor damages, the right side is broken downwards from the knees as well as the right side of the throne armrest. The left throne armrest is also broken at the upper ending as well as at the left lower edge of the backside. The surface is washed out and there are some scratches visible. The nose and mouth are rubbed off. Traces of paint are not preserved.
The sitting figurine wears a himation as well as a coat, which is drawn over the head like a veil. Both coat seams at the torso are indicated through vertical scratches.
The child lies in flat position on the knees of the figurine and is seperated from it through horizontal scratching below the knees of the sitting figurine.
The garment of the sitting figurine is not further structured. The figurine wears shoes and the feet are placed in slightly opened position at an oblique surface.
The oval-shaped face is structured through curved cheeks and almond-shaped, smooth eyes. Below the veil skeins can be seen. The child lies in flat position on the knees of the sitting figurine and looks with an upright head and hood at the spectator. The Kourotrophos can be dated in the mid of the 5th century due to comparison.
The figurine belongs to the type of sitting figurines with a child on the lap, which are called Kourotrophoi. Such kinds of figurines were sacrifices for a goddess, who is responsible for fertility, growth as well as the protection of children. Kourotrophoi made of limestone were produced in Cyprus from the 6th century onwards until the beginning of Hellenism. They were dedicated in sanctuaries of goddesses, like for example in Chytroi, Golgoi, Idalion, Achna, Kition, Amathus und Paphos, in the case of Lefkoniko even in a sanctuary for a god.
Western examples were found in Amathus and Paphos. The main distribution area coincides with the occurrence of the light and easily shaped limestone of the Mesaoria-Ebene, which was also used for other types of sculptures. The sitting limestone-Kourotrophoi of the 6th century were influenced by Egyptian figurines and sculptures of Isis-Hathor with her son Horus. It also should be taken into consideration that Kourotrophoi existed in Bronze Age as well as that they could also originate from sitting goddesses from the Northern-Syrian area.

(G.K.)

Bibliography

G. Koiner, Aphrodite Kourotrophos in den Archäologischen Sammlungen der Universität Graz, in: Potnia Theron. Festschrift für Gerda Schwarz zum 65. Geburtstag (Wien 2007) 173-180
Vergleiche:
A. Hermary, Catalogue des Antiquités de Chypre. Sculptures, Musée du Louvre. Département des antiquités orientales (Paris 1989) 419-438 Kat. 849-904
S. Karl - D. Modl - B. Porod (Hrsg.), Archäologiemuseum Schloss Eggenberg. Katalog, Schild von Steier 22, 2009, 26-32 Kat. 104-139; 34 Kat. 154-155

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