This early Greek depiction of the idealized male form displays power and poise in his nudity and steadfast gaze.
This video features Met curator Joan R. Mertens on self-reliance in Marble statue of a kouros (youth). This kouros is one of the earliest marble statues of a human figure carved in Attica. The rigid stance, with the left leg forward and arms at the side, was derived from Egyptian art. The pose provided a clear, simple formula that was used by Greek sculptors throughout the sixth century B.C.E. In this early figure, geometric, almost abstract forms predominate, and anatomical details are rendered in beautiful analogous patterns. The statue marked the grave of a young Athenian aristocrat.
Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:
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