Phoenix Ancient Art Gallery Highlight

Bronze Statuette of a Black Dancer

Hellenistic Greek, bronze, early 1st century B.C. (100-50 B.C.).

Ht: 18 cm.

Currently at Phoenix Ancient Art, this Hellenistic statuette is a work of very high quality.  Made using the lost wax technique, it represents a young black dancer, who characterized by tightly curled hair and Negroid features. A recurrent subject during the Hellenistic Age among the artists of Alexandria, it remained popular during the Roman Imperial period. The dancer stands on tiptoe, raises his arms and tilts his head backwards: his extremely elaborate position is nevertheless reproduced in a very natural way, as is his musculature and the anatomy of his athletic body.

The man is simply dressed in a short loincloth (suggesting that he belonged to the lower social classes, perhaps he was a slave) that does not entirely hide his sex. It should be noted that Greeks often represented certain types of men with oversize sexual organs: chiefly dwarves blacks and  pygmies..

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