Research: Caryatids’ hairstyle is timeless
Dr. Katherine Schwab, Professor of Visual & Performing Arts at Fairfield University, conducted The Caryatid Hairstyling Project. The project engaged student volunteers as models, while a professional hairstylist recreated the individual hairstyles of the Erechtheion marble Caryatids or maidens, which stand in place of columns in the South Porch.
In ancient Athens, female hairstyle was a distinctive symbol of status worn by women of high social rank and affluence when they appeared in public settings such as religious festivals. Sculptures with elaborate female hairstyles or coiffures, unveiled and on display in the sacred and prominent location of the ancient Athenian Acropolis, invite an analysis of the preserved hairstyles to determine whether or not the sculptors invented an artistic convention or used real hairstyles of the day.
The Caryatid Hairstyling Project, spearheaded by Dr. Katherine Schwab, was conducted at Fairfield University. The project tested the reality or fantasy of these hairstyles by engaging student volunteers as models while a professional hairstylist recreated the individual hairstyles of the Erechtheion marble Caryatids or maidens (korai), which stand in place of columns in the South Porch.The result? Confirmation that the marble Caryatids were closely modeled after real women of the day and theie hairstyle is timeless.