Our stylized, nude female figure is possessed of an inherent monumentality despite her diminutive size. She kneels and cradles with her left arm an infant whom she nurses by offering her breast with the hand of her right arm which lies across her chest beneath her right breast. The design of her stylized arms is consistent with the triangular shape of her head characterized by a prominent nose, which is the stylistic hallmark of such fecundity figures. Her child is depicted in strict profile to the left which attention paid to his leg, torso, arm, and head, although these, in keeping with the abstract nature of such representations, are designed without attention to anatomical detail. Most of the examples of the type are in painted, baked clay and are typically depicted seated on the ground with their knees raised in the air and their arms folded across their chest, the hands often encircling their breasts. Examples in stone are infrequent, and group statuettes of woman and child, such as our example, are virtually unattested.
Ancient Near East