Twenty five centuries prior to the Parthenon construction, residents of the Aegean islands were using pure materials, working them to form delicate shapes. Their ambition was to create objects that captured the essence of nature and portrayed the world; they were meant to live forever.
Such sculptures are the ancient Cycladic Idols. Through their balanced proportions, powerful standing and humble essence, these figurines achieve one of the most compelling early forms of human portrayal. They unearthed in the Cyclades - a “kyklos”, or circle, of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, scattered around the holy island and sanctuary of Apollo, Delos.
The majority of the figurines are female, depicted nude with arms folded across the stomach. Their pubic area is distinguished by an incision and the breasts are modeled. Even though there is no clear theory as to what these Idols were meant to represent, it’s been said that they were depicting the Goddess of Fertility.
Their simple shape and clean outline made them popular for 20th-century artists like Modigliani, Brancusi, Matisse and Picasso, due to their association with abstract art. Viewed primarily as works of art, they were often presented to be studied as such, without reference to their creators’ cultural environment.
The Zolotas House of Jewelry is a proud sponsor of Life Art Global Media Festival. The Zolotas artists were inspired by the astonishing craft of the Cycladic figurines to combine materials such as gold and marble and create a unique award for the winners in all competition categories of LifeArt.