Portrait at Antalya Museum belongs to Sappho
A portrait sculpture which has been in the Antalya Museum since 1972 belongs to Sappho, known as the first and most important female poet of the ancient period, according to Havva İşkan Işık, a professor of archaeology at Akdeniz University in the southern province of Antalya.
Stating that the portrait, unearthed in the ancient site of Perge, attracted her attention, Işık said, “In my research, I found out that the portrait belongs to Sappho, who is known as the first and most important female poet of the ancient period. My studies on portrait were also confirmed with academic examinations at universities abroad, where I went as a guest. I will soon publish the scientific article about my work, so that the whole world will learn that this work is in the Antalya Museum.”
Işık, who is also the head of the Patara ancient city excavations, said that she gave some sculpture and portrait lessons at the Antalya Museum, one of the most important sculpture museums in the world.
Stating that the portrait came to the Antalya Museum in 1972, Işık noted that the portrait was confiscated by the Yeni Kapı Police Station teams and handed over to the museum. She said the carefully preserved portrait in the museum was mentioned as a male portrait in the first records.
Expressing that she named the sculpture “Sappho of Antalya,” Işık said that the work will be mentioned with this name in the literature. “One example of this sculpture is also located in Munich. It is called ‘Sappho of Munich.’ There are no other examples in Turkey. There is a Sappho head in the Istanbul Museum, but another type. This is only one example of the 4th-century type, it exists in very few museums in the world. Antalya Museum, which is a worldwide sculpture museum, once again crowned its importance with this work,” Işık said.
Stating that Sappho was born in 630 B.C., Işık noted that the date of her death was around 570 B.C. Pointing out that the poet was an early period artist, Işık said, “Unfortunately, we have only seven-eight percent of her poems, the rest are lost. She lived on Lesbos Island. Sappho is known for her extremely modern life without any rules. She often wrote love poems. She is a very important female poet.”