Grave Stele of a Little Girl
c. 450-440 BCE. Marble, height 31 1/2 (80 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Artist: unknown. Many of the most skillful stone carvers came from the Cycladic island, where marble was plentiful. The sculptor of this stele could have been among the artists who congregated in Athens during the third quarter of the fifth century B.C to decorate the Parthenon. This grave stele dates the Classical period and it is an example of relief carving.The figure of this little girl is a contraposto position, showing the curvature of her spine. She wears a loose peplos, which parts at the side to disclose the tender flesh underneath and clings elsewhere over her body to reveal its three-dimensional form. The girl is depicted holding two doves in her hands, close to her face and this could be a representations of her saying goodbye to her pets. The calm and graceful expression on the girl's face adds to the overall beauty of the piece.