Schuster Master

A review of the Schuster Master’s Cycladic female figures.

This paper examines the art, form and traits of the carved marble female figures attributed to the Schuster Master whose real name is unknown and is identified only by the style of his work. It shows how these remarkable pieces dating back to 2400 BCE and sculpted in marble serve as reminders of the evolution of ancient Greek art and all have a prominent, linear nose, a curvaceous forehead and hints of pregnancy in the belly. The Schuster Master may have intended simply to convey the power of pregnancy or of the female spirit but Cycladic art is deceptively minimalist and original pieces, painted and decorated have exhibited the sophisticated understanding of the artist for his media.
However, the models arms are tightly crossed and drawn across her torso. This pose is reposed, relaxed, resolute, and refined. The folded arms form a square that balances perfectly with the otherwise cylindrical nature of the statue. The elbows are pointy, perhaps suggesting a stubborn nature. This is no pushover. The Cycladic woman sticks to her guns; she is an effective leader. Her decisions are final, evident by her stoic stance. The artist?’s lack of detail in depicting her form also indicates a lack of frivolity in the female personality.