Statue of a girl ('The Budapest Dancer')

62.3 × 27.5 × 28 cm
ca. 240–220 B.C. or 150–100 B.C.
Szilágyi, J. Gy., Antik Gyűjtemény, 74, fig. 53; Szilágyi, J. Gy., Ancient Art, 82, fig. 53

The piece shows a girl wearing a long chiton and thick mantle. Looking downwards, she pulls her garment aside, the contours of her body lost in the thick drapery. Her hair, in a bun, is adorned with a ribbon. The head and the trunk were carved of the best marble (Parian lychnites), but from separate blocks: they did not originally belong together. The statue may have stood in a niche, the back is thus roughly carved.
There is little agreement about the subject of the statue. It is traditionally referred to as a dancer, but the pose does not agree with any other ancient representations of dancing. Perhaps it immortalises a stolen moment: a young girl trying on the clothes of an adult woman.

Marble analyses conducted by Danielle Decrouez (Geneva, Museum of Natural History) and Karl Ramseyer (University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences) have shown that the statue was made of Parian (Paros-Marathi) marble. Click here for the detailed results.