EXPLORE THE AEGEAN SEA THROUGH THE CYCLADIC ART MUSEUM
In aisles of the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, you will find the world’s finest private collections of art and artifacts from the Cyclades. The antiquities from Cyprus represent one of the largest collections in the world outside of Cyprus. With hundreds of exquisite artifacts in permanent exhibits on four levels, this museum is a must for anyone interested in the art and archaeology of the islands of the Aegean and Cyprus.
Archaeologists believe that the people of the Cyclades during this period, the Early Bronze Age, represent a unified cultural entity with connections to Crete and mainland Greece. Towards the end of this period, people started living in fewer and larger settlements such as at Phylakopi, an archaeological site that can be visited on the island of Milos.
Distinctive products from the Cyclades of this time are vessels and anthropomorphic figurines made of marble. It is these figurines that have come to define ‘Cycladic art’. Of course, they vary over the millennium. They are small, most up to 60 cm, but there are some that are much higher – up to 1.5 m in height.
Most of these figurines are female – with an incised pubic triangle, although there are some male figurines. They are thin with a decidedly schematic outline, with some anatomic features such as arms, noses and breasts are more sculptural. Interestingly, the arms are folded.
The Museum of Cycladic Art has a wonderful collection of these figurines, from the very small to the largest that stands 1.4 meters high. The display of these, with detailed information panels, allows you to see how these iconic figurines changed through time and get an impression of why they have become so collectible.