Cycladic art is a Greek art form that developed on the Greek Islands from about 3300 to 2000 B.C. The artwork is mostly expressed through pottery and sculpture. It is often carved out of marble and is very simple and elegant. They are so simple, in fact, that they can be mistaken for the modern sculptures of artists like Henry Moore.
A New Museum
The Museum of Cycladic Art is a young museum, founded in 1986 by Nikolas and Dolly Goulandri. The museum has four floors. The first floor has the museum’s extensive collection of Cycladic art, while the second floor houses ancient Greek art. The third floor of the museum is dedicated to temporary exhibits and the fourth floor has the Charles Politis collection. The Stathatos Mansion is the latest addition to the museum and was opened in 1992. A lovely neoclassical townhouse, it is connected to the main building via a walkway, but it also has its own front entrance. The ground floor of the Stathatos Mansion has a Greek art collection from the Athens Academy and has a high glass ceiling that makes the space airy and full of light. The first floor is also reserved for temporary exhibits.
Among the highlights of the main museum is a famous kylix. This is a beautiful two handled drinking cup from the 5th century B.C. that shows two young men boxing while their trainer looks on. They are depicted in red against the cup’s black background. This effect is obtained by a complicated firing process.
Another work is a Cycladic violin shaped figure that’s about five inches high. Yet another piece depicts a woman with her arms folded, which was a common pose with Cycladic figures. There is also a terra-cotta figure of an elegant woman that comes from Central Greece. This figurine dates back from around 330 to 320 B.C.
The Museum of Cycladic Art is on Neofytou Douka 4 Street and is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday the museum is open from 10 AM to 3 PM.