27 Apr 1929

Alfred Westholm, member of the Swedish Archaeological Expedition to Cyprus, in a letter to his parents

Alfred Westholm, member of the Swedish Archaeological Expedition to Cyprus, in a letter to his parents:

A Vouni week has come to a close marked by a total calm after the storm of statues. The statues in Room 99 were found lying in a group only in a very limited area. Including the small statues, they numbered perhaps 30, but among these were some truly first class works, completely comparable to and sometimes finer than those found earlier. We can already identify the hands of several different masters among the abundant statuary material and it will surely be a wonderful thing to get to grips with the documentation when everything is finished. The different masters will be given fictive names characterising the various styles. “The Vouni Master” is the great man around whom the others are grouped, showing more or less evident Greek and Eastern impulses. “The Vouni Master” is apparently a born Cypriote, he learned the native technique of great terracotta art. He has, however, apparently been to Athens where he saw the kore statues and thoroughly studied the popular art of the time. After his return he is employed by the Aipeia king to decorate the palace and its little temenos with modern sculptures. The Vouni Master apparently works with a whole slew of native apprentices, he has negligible amounts of marble at his disposal but he tries as well as he can to translate the Greek models into Cypriote stone. But the Cypriote never goes out of him, and he does not hesitate to translate the Greek marble prototypes into Cypriote native terracotta, and one must truly say that he succeeds excellently. Our large terracotta heads are fully Greek despite that great terracotta art is more or less entirely non-existent in Greece. The Vouni Master, however, has not been able to execute more than the heads in Greek Archaic style. The bodies are still the old Cypriote clumps.  ---- “The Vouni Master” thus creates an epoch on Cyprus. He seems to be one of the first and most distinguished artists to introduce Greek style and taste into Cypriote sculpture. His imagination and learning are sufficient enough to enable him to succeed in the difficult endeavour of applying the precepts of Greek marble to Cypriote limestone and terracotta.