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Ancient Greek bronze statue known as the Lady of Kalymnos in the archaeological museum on Kalymnos in Greece

During our cruise of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, typically, after a lovely swim and an exploration of the town of Pothia, we visit the Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos, which is quite superb.

We have written about Kalymnos, in detail before but here it we want to focus on one particular statue.

The highlight of the museum in is the Lady of Kalymnos, a near-fully preserved over-life-sized bronze statue of a mature woman, retrieved from the surrounding waters some 23 years ago. She must be part of a shipwreck cargo and she is a first-rate piece, probably from the 4th or 3rd century BC. She represents a mature woman in a state of emotional turmoil. We think she is Demeter searching her daughter Persephone, as do others, but there is no final answer on that. What is clear is that she displays an extraordinary degree of bronze-casting skill in  showing different textures between her skin, her hair, her overcoat and and her undergarment - the fringe of her woollen coat is one of the best things we have seen in ancient sculpture. The way her body and its tenseness show through her clothing is also exceptional.

The Lady of Kalymnos is worth a voyage every bit as much as the Delphi Charioteer, the Riace Bronzes, the Artemision Zeus - or the Mona Lisa!

To see her with expert guides, join our Cruising the Dodecanese.

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