This marble sculpture of the Greek poet Sappho was created in Florence by the esteemed Polish sculptor, Mieczyslaw Leon Zawiejski. Sappho is depicted in a seated position with her hands clasped together on her knee and her eyes lowered. She wears a classical dress and a laurel wreath on her head. Near Sappho’s feet is a lyre, which Sappho would play when she performed her poetry.
Zawiejski was a highly-skilled sculptor who was mostly active in New York and Italy in the late 19th Century. His talent as an artist is seen in the way he renders the different textures of smooth skin, flowing hair, folded drapery and coarse stone, as well as the fine strings of the lyre. The sculpture is signed ‘Mieczyslaw Leon Zawiejski Firenze 189*’ – the last number having rubbed off the base over time.
This marble figure of Sappho is an exquisite piece of craftsmanship, created by a masterful sculptor.