Old Market Woman - Digital Library
This trend is illustrated by the Greek statue known as the Old Market Woman (in fact it is a Roman copy of a Greek original). When the statue. Old Market Woman, which dates back to A.D. and stands only 49 ⅝ inches tall While it's hard to determine a definitive date, it is assumed to be of the Haley, I was able to have a more modern description of the statue. One such statue to generate this is the Old Market Woman. first one should present the statue's estimated history and physical descriptions. resources have suggested that it is very difficult to date and can only be assumed.
Shown hunchbacked and missing her arms, it does appears that the missing arm could have been carrying a basket of produce and a chicken, although it is hard to see some of her specific features, the sculpture is quite detailed.
From her wrinkled face to her sagging breasts, she is often depicted as a poor old woman, maybe a drunk or a beggar. The wreath of ivy surrounding her head though suggest to some that she was possibly traveling to a festival of some type.
And her fine clothes are in great difference to the thought of her being a beggar. The role reversal of what was at the time considered Greek beauty is in direct difference to Old Market Woman.
The Greeks were vain whereas beauty was concerned and a sculpture of an old woman was probably not often sought. Because of the dryness of the climate in the oasis the colors on the walls inside the structure have been preserved intact in many places and the whole site has suffered but slightly either from the iconoclasm of early Chris- tians or the vandalism of Arabs.
With the exception of the roofs of the three col- umned-halls and of a few of the smaller chambers, the main structure is standing almost complete, buried inside to a depth of from two to five meters with wind- blown sand. The first purpose of the ex- pedition during the coming season will be to remove these drifts and clear the temple to pavement level. Then the copying and photographing of the inscriptions and reliefs will be undertaken and plans and drawings of the architectural details made.
The portico, the gateways and the ave- nue are also buried to a depth of two or three meters in sand and earth, the more easterly structures being at present situ- ated in a grove of date palms.
It is hoped also that a beginning can be made of the clearing of this part of the site and that the foundations can be found of the brick inclosure walls and of the outlying build- ings connected with the temple, traces of which can be seen here and there on the surface.
This is a marble statue, somewhat less than life size, of an old peasant woman who is offer- ing the products of her little farm for sale. It is, in fact, an attempt at an absolutely true study of nature in her least beautiful forms, such as we associate more with the art of modern Italy than with that of classic Greece, and the result is a figure such as we might see — though in a more modern costume — moving about the marketplace of an Italian or Greek town to-day.
With the body bent at that peculiar angle which comes more from con- stant toil in the fields than from age, we can feel the shambling motion with which she pushes her way among the crowd of market people, and though the greater part of both arms is missing their action is easily imagined. With the right extended she was holding out something, the merits or the cheapness of which she was pro- claiming, and in the left hand she carried the fowls and the basket of fruits or vege- tables which are still to be seen at her side.
Though the head itself is preserved, and has never been broken from the body, it was found with the features sadly muti- lated, not by accident, but by a willful act of vandalism, of which they clearly show the traces.
To make the statue more pre- sentable, the face has been restored here in plaster. But the realism of the action merely accentuates that of the modeling, especially in the upper half of the statue, where the characteristics of withered old age are reproduced with unsparing fidelity.
Full text of "The Old Market Woman"
The old and weary eyes, the sunken cheeks, the deep lines about the mouth, and the shriveled neck and breast, all show a sculptor whose aim was to perpetuate an unlovely everyday type precisely as he saw it, with no thought of beauty nor de- sire for idealism. Yet he was a Greek, and his instinct for rhythmic lines and beautiful forms could not be wholly sup- pressed. It found its outlet in the lower half of the figure, where he was less occu- pied with the realism of his subject.
- Old Market Woman
- NYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art - Marble statue of an old market woman
The costume is the same that we find on the ideal statues of goddesses or women — a sleeveless chiton, or dress, clasped upon the shoulder, and over this a large himation or mantle. The folds of these two gar- ments fall as gracefully as though they covered the form of a young girl, and it is curious to observe that the limbs which they cover do not correspond at all to the shrunken character of the upper part, but are full and well rounded, as are also the prettily sandaled feet.
File:Old woman Met 09.39.jpg
The only dis- tinctive mark of the peasant in the costume is the kerchief upon her head, which she wears in precisely the manner that the peasant women of southern Europe wear them to-day. Encircling this kerchief is an ivy wreath, probably an indication that the occasion on which she is offering her wares for sale is some Bacchic festival. The statue was evidently intended simply as a piece of decorative sculpture, perhaps for the adornment of a garden, and was designed only for a front or side view, as the back is executed in a more or less sum- mary manner, and is rather flat.
They are concerned with joy, delight, and happiness. Though she is old it certainly would be a role reversal to what the Greeks considered beauty. As a Dionysian votive Old Market Woman would be making an offering to the god that still considered her sexually attractive. The dress slipping off her shoulders to reveal her breasts also indicate this free spirit and lack of the normal womanly inhibitions.
When we first look at the statue one would see a haggard old woman sitting in a fit after having too much to drink. She is quite the opposite. This can be identified by her clothing, ring on her left hand, and earrings. She may have been a famous drinker. They are both Dionysiac festival goers as well, which can be identified in their actions and ivy wreaths. The difference is Drunken Old Woman has already arrived at the festival and Old Market Woman is most likely making her way there.
They were not designed to make moral or social class statements, either negative or positive.
They were not studies in the dignity of human toil. Old Market Woman is a shining example of so much that can be misunderstood in art. She represents an evolution in Greek art toward Hellenistic realism, where the much feared old body is crafted in place of the ideal Aphrodite.
Rather than a genre sculpture she is a votive statue to the god Dionysus preparing to make an offering of her chicken, fruits, and vegetables during a Dionysian festival. Old Market Woman has her companion Drunk Old Woman to represent what may have been considered low class destitues, but were actually festival participants.