From:Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities
About this objectRoman marble statuette of the goddess Cybele.
Cybele Tristis, sad or mourning Cybele, is a rare representation of this goddess. Cybele is usually depicted in art and literature as a wild and exotic earth goddess. Only twelve known representations exist of Cybele in a state of mourning, shown here by the hand-to-head gesture. She sits on a throne, wearing a mural crown (decorated with illustrations of city walls); her left elbow rests on a lion and she holds a sacrificial dish in her right hand.
The way the goddess is represented suggests that the statuette was used in a funerary context, possibly with Cybele as a protector of the dead. Originally a Phrygian goddess of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Cybele became the embodiment of the earth goddess and gained fame and following throughout much of the ancient world. The cult surrounding her culminated in the goddess being hailed in Rome as the Magna Mater (Great Mother).
Date Made1st or 2nd Century AD
Place NotesLikely to belong to a small sub group of monuments from Bithynia and Mysia.
Medium and MaterialsStone; Marble
Style and IconographyRoman
MeasurementsHeight 41.5cm; Width 19.7cm; Depth 25.5cm
Subject and Association KeywordsAnimals in art
Subject and Association KeywordsWomen in art
Subject and Association KeywordsClothing and dress
Subject and Association KeywordsGoddesses in art
Subject and Association KeywordsMourning customs
Subject and Association KeywordsArt and religion
Named CollectionThe James Logie Memorial Collection, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Copyright LicenceAll rights reserved