Most of my research for these two figures originally came through Marija Gimbutas (link to wiki.) I was introduced to her through the University of California, Los Angeles. She wrote two wonderful books I’ve used as references when painting my goddesses and gods, The Language of the Goddess, and The Goddess and Gods of Old Europe.
The two small figurines were found together at the site of Baia-Hamangia in 1952 alongside Lake Golovita in Romania, and if memory serves, they are the oldest male and female to be found in the same dig or burial ground. The museum calls them “the thinker” and “the sitting woman.” I can imagine them on some ancient traveling altar, or buried with a couple, small god/goddess figurines of the Neolithic period, between 4500-5200 BC.
After several small studies on paper, I painted them big, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 42×36-inches. The sketches for these wonderful figurines became the basis for several family members in My Family Series. Below, my brother Patrick and my grandmother, Lyle Genevieve, though I softened her edges from the original because she was a soft woman to curl up with. The figures feel to me to correspond with a personality type. My brother and my grandmother also had an unusually tight-knit relationship, and he idolized her.
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The “sitting woman” and the “thinker” image of Hamangia from Wikipedia,
courtesy the National History and Archaeology Museum, Constanta.