At first sight this seems an unremarkable statue. If it offers another example of the Daedalic style, it can hardly compare on that score to the Lady of Auxerre, if only because of its badly worn condition. In fact it is a significant piece, marking the passage, at least in the extant record, to a new material and a new scale. At 5’9” it is life-size or over-life-size, and it is made of marble. Thus it stands at the beginning of the great tradition of monumental marble sculpture in Greece. In fact it is the earliest large-scale statue to have survived in any type of stone. There is no telling whether it is earlier or later than the Lady of Auxerre. The date is usually put at 650-625 BC.
- Nikandre. The statue is a likeness of its dedicator, left in the sanctuary as a worshipper in permanent attendance on the goddess.
- Artemis. The statue represents the recipient of the dedication, the goddess in whose sanctuary the offering is made.
- Agalma. The statue is merely an intermediary, a vehicle of the dedicator’s devotion to the goddess, perhaps a priestess. At all events, a “pleasing gift” (agalma).
The Kore of Nikandre follows the basic Daedalic pattern. The face is an inverted triangle. Little more can be said about it because it has been so battered, although it seems that its facial features were not so heavy as those of the Auxerre Kore. The hair falls in four segmented locks on either side, forming a larger triangular frame for the face. The arms are held stiffly at the sides. The kore wears a long robe divided by a belt. What appears to be a cape for the shoulders is material folded back (cf. the previous post on the Lady of Auxerre). The incised guidelines for the paint are worn off, as are all traces of the original colors. So we have to imagine how statue was decorated. The flesh was perhaps left in the color of the polished marble (whereas in limestone red was used for male flesh, white for female flesh). But the garment, the hair, and the details of the face were all picked out in color.
The form is severely frontal, not meant to be viewed from the side or from the back. The block is shallow, never more than about seven inches thick (see the image at the top of this post). Even when viewed from the front, the form retains the rectilinearity of the block from which it is carved. Hurwit thinks that the form recalls a centuries-long indigenous tradition of large-scale statues carved from wooden beams. The kore is plank-like because it renders in stone the form of the xoanon or bretas or kolossos: ancient wooden images “only barely human in form” (188). On the other hand, Boardman sees in the kore “a small terracotta writ large”: the technique borrowed from the East to make the Daedalic terracottas, whereby clay was pressed into the mold for the front only, was at first simply transposed to the new medium of marble (34).
- Boardman, John, ed. The Oxford History of Classical Art. 1993.
- Hurwit, Jeffrey M. The Art and Culture of Early Greece, 1100-480 BC. 1985.
- Pedley, John Griffiths. Greek Art and Archaeology. 3rd ed. 2002.
- Robertson, Martin. A History of Greek Art. 2 Vols. 1975.
- Spivey, Nigel. Greek Sculpture. 2013.
- Stansbury-O’Donnell, Mark D. A History of Greek Art. 2015.
- Stewart, Andrew. Greek Sculpture. 2 Vols. 1990.