Bronze mirror with a support in the form of a nude girl

Period: Archaic

Date: 2nd half of the 6th century B.C.

Culture: Greek, Laconian

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 13 5/16 in. (33.8 m)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1938

Accession Number: 38.11.3


The girl stands on a curled-up lion, and griffins springing from her shoulders help support the mirror disk. She holds a pomegranate in her left hand and is nude except for a necklace and a strap from which hang a crescent-shaped amulet and a ring. Her nudity and the animals that surround her bring to mind images of the Mistress of Animals, an ancient Near Eastern deity who contributed characteristics to two Olympian goddesses, Aphrodite and Artemis. As a mirror handle, the figure may simply evoke the powers of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty; alternatively, she might be connected with Artemis Orthia, whose cult was important at the Laconian city of Sparta.