Exhibitions/ Art Object

Bronze statuette of a veiled and masked dancer

3rd–2nd century B.C.
8 1/16 × 3 1/2 × 4 1/2 in., 65.6oz. (20.5 × 8.9 × 11.4 cm, 4.1 lb.)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 163
The complex motion of this dancer is conveyed exclusively through the interaction of the body with several layers of dress. Over an undergarment that falls in deep folds and trails heavily, the figure wears a lightweight mantle, drawn tautly over her head and body by the pressure applied to it by her right arm, left hand, and right leg. Its substance is conveyed by the alternation of the tubular folds pushing through from below and the freely curling softness of the fringe. The woman's face is covered by the sheerest of veils, discernible at its edge below her hairline and at the cutouts for the eyes. Her extended right foot shows a laced slipper. This dancer has been convincingly identified as one of the professional entertainers, a combination of mime and dancer, for which the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria was famous in antiquity.
Said to be from Alexandria (Thompson 1950, p. 379).

Until 1948, collection of Joseph Brummer; September 14, 1948, purchased by Walter C. Baker from the estate of Joseph Brummer; acquired June 23, 1972, bequest of Walter C. Baker.
von Bothmer, Dietrich and René d'Harnoncourt. 1950. Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities: An Exhibition from the Collection of Walter Cummings Baker, Esq. no. 46, p. 9, pl. 12, New York: Walter Cummings Baker.

Thompson, Dorothy Burr. 1950. "A Bronze Dancer from Alexandria." American Journal of Archaeology, 54(4): pp. 371–85, figs. 1–3, 11, 14.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1961. Ancient Art from New York Private Collections: Catalogue of an Exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 17, 1959–February 28, 1960. no. 144, pp. 37–38, pls. 44, 50–51, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1965. "Greek and Roman Art." Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art), No. 1965/1975: p. 120.

Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. p. 564, pl. 179c, Cambridge, England.

Mertens, Joan R. 1985. "Greek Bronzes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 43(2): no. 32, pp. 48–49.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. pp. 70–71, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kozloff, Arielle and David Gordon Mitten. 1988. The Gods Delight. no. 14, pp. 102–6, Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art.

Raftopoulou, Eliana G. 1991. "Étude iconographique sur un thème de la toreutique." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 115(1): pp. 269–72, fig. 14.

Howard Kathleen. 1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello no. 22, p. 313, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pfisterer-Haas, Susanne. 1994. "Die bronzenen Zwergentänzer." Das Wrack: der antike Schiffsfund von Mahdia, Gisela Hellenkemper Salies, ed. pp. 485, 501 n. 16, fig. 9, Köln: Rheinland-Verlag.

Musée du Petit Palais. 1997. La Gloire d'Alexandrie. no. 206, p. 265, Paris: Musée du Petit Palais.

Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd. 2003. Aphrodite's Tortoise: The Veiled Woman of Ancient Greece. p. 64, figs. 72–73, London: Classical Press of Wales.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome. no. 237, pp. 202–3, 451, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Schultz, Peter and Ralf von den Hoff. 2007. Early Hellenistic Portraiture: Image, Style, Context p. 65 n. 14, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bol, Peter C. 2007. Die Geschichte der antiken Bildhauerkunst III: Hellenistische Plastik. pp. 92, 121, 124–128, 129f., 134, 135, 137, 142, 148, 163, 173, 179f., 184, 187, pl. 145, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Hemingway, Seán. 2007. "From Gods to Grotesques. Hellenistic Bronze Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Apollo, 166 (May): pp. 50, 52, fig. 2.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. p. 72, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Picón, Carlos A. and Seán Hemingway. 2016. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World no. 158, p. 224, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Brøns, Cecilie. 2017. Gods and Garments : Textiles in Greek Sanctuaries in the 7th to the 1st Centuries B.C.. pp. 69–70, fig. 11, Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2017. The Artist Project : What Artists See When They Look at Art. pp. 206–7, New York.

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