Whistle in the Form of Female Figure
8 3/4 × 4 3/4 in - 22.2 × 12.1 cm
Image provided by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
CIRCA:12th–13th Century A.D.
DIMENSIONS: Height: 31cm
A very rare stucco sculpture representing a seated cross-legged figure, hands on knees, holding a child under her right arm. The woman is dressed in an elbow-length robe adorned with a necklace pendant in the shape of a bird with its wings unfurled. Wearing a diadem of rosettes on a fringe of curly hair, whose black locks fall on her shoulders. Her face is round, with a small mouth, straight nose; her arched eyebrows meet at the bridge of the nose. Some black, red and blue pigment is still visible.
It is known from excavations and textual evidence that figures in the round or with a flattened back were used to decorated palaces; few, however, have survived. This sculpture is also interesting for the study of medieval Islamic costume. The figure is a testimony to the lasting artistic and cultural influence of the Seljuq dynasty, a vast though relatively short-lived empire unified Persian, Islamic, and Central Asian–Turkic elements.
1st c. BC
Female figurine of the “Tanagra” type with elaborate hairstyle, painted in bright colours. She is holding a fan and her weight is on her right foot.
"Tanagra" figurines, which owe their name to the discovery of a host of examples in the cemeteris of Tanagra in Boeotia in the late 19th century (but we now know that were made all over the Hellenistic world) portray mortals, by contrast to earlier female figurines which represented only deities or priestesses. Their style and evolution was strongly influenced by developments in contemporary scultpure, and more specifically the turn towards realism which is attested in the 4th c. BC. By that time, artists started to move away from the idealized models of early Classical art and turned to the portrayal of figures with individualized features that could convey the inner psychological state. This in combination with the improved social position of women in the Hellenistic period, brought about a new ideal of female beauty which was more focused on sensuality.
rewired the human brain, with profound consequences for culture. Making remarkable connections across a wide range of subjects including brain function, anthropology, history, and religion, Shlain argues that literacy reinforced the brain’s linear, abstract, predominantly masculine left hemisphere at the expense of the holistic, iconic feminine right one. This shift upset the balance between men and women initiating the disappearance of goddesses, the abhorrence of images, and, in literacy’s early stages, the decline of women’s political status. Patriarchy and misogyny followed