Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Jan 2014: New York: The old courtesan

this statue is a Roman copy around 1st century BC of a Greek Statue dating back to the 2-3rd C BC. Whilst it is commonly known as the Old Woman of the Market, experts now believe that she was a an old courtesan and a worshiper of Dionysus. She is too well dressed to be a common market place vendor. but that is not why I fell in love with her. The statue has been battered around the past 2 millennium, the nose has been struck off, the arms are missing. But then, she was an aged courtesan. They live a very difficult life, after 25-30 years, they are well over the hill so unable to really keep on earning their keep by selling their bodies. And looking at her, she would be say 70 years? so for 50 odd years, she would survive on her wits after a very difficult life. You can see the body bent at the spine, one exposed breast drooping, the brow furrowed in thought while carrying that heavy basket. I just stood there and looked at her silently, she spoke to me so much. Did she have a granddaughter? was she warm in winter? Did she have an old paramour with whom she would talk and laugh in her thin reedy voice? remember old friends and warriors who have now passed on? would she close her rheumy eyes and remember those days when she was the toast of Athens or the Peloponnese?  When men would throw themselves at her feet just to receive one tilted head small secret smile?

what a girl.

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