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The Kouros Greek Statue: Facts and Analysis Report

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Updated: Jun 10th, 2020

Fast Facts

  • Title of the work of art: Kouros
  • Name of the artist: Produced in Ancient Greece or modern forgery
  • Date of the work of art: about 530 B.C., or modern forgery
  • Medium/material/technique: marble, unique carving, and claw chisel,
  • Dimensions: The size can be estimated as being as tall as human
  • Condition: good condition with minimum damage

Analysis

Firstly, the description, which is based on personal observations, should be provided. As for the size, the figure remains rather tall and massive in a standing position with the arms hanging down. The texture of the statue is rather smooth. Moreover, the muscles and the particular body parts are firmly emphasized with the assistance of the firm lines. Additionally, it can be seen that special attention is paid to the details of the head such as the texture of the hair. The face is also portrayed, but the eyes are not pictured in detail.

As for the formal elements, they were partly described in the previous paragraph. Nonetheless, certain features have to be added. The outline and position of the whole body remain firm. However, the firm lines are used to describe the muscles. Particular attention is paid to the portrayal of the muscles and head, as they are the primary attributes of the Greek culture. As it was mentioned earlier, the texture is smooth. However, some of the damages can be noticed. Furthermore, the ability of the sculptor to use different levels of depth to emphasize the particular features contributes to the game of shadows and the light. This matter assists in the emphasis on the significant elements of the piece of art.

Furthermore, the subject of the work of art has to be described to understand the intention of the formation of the statue. Firstly, it has to be mentioned that Kouros implies the portrayal of young boys or adolescents (Pache 72). In this instance, this sculpture reflects the standard features, which were used to characterize the young males in Ancient Greece. It is evident that the men were evaluated from the physical perspective, and the physical appearance served the role of personal identity (Sahaj 385).

Additionally, it is evident that physical condition contributed to the development of the differentiation in the society in agreement with the physical attributes (Sahaj 385). In this instance, the sculptor emphasizes and underlines the aristocracy and elegance of the Greek males with the assistance of the portrayal of the body of the young man. Another subject, which is vehemently correlated to the personal outlook, is the dominating existence of sexuality in the Greek culture (Lloyd and Calame 200). This feature is reflected in the nudity of the portrayal of the young boy.

In turn, the original function of Kouros has to be determined to understand the original intention of the statue. The primary role of Kouros is to portray the household values on the cemetery and emphasize the achievements of the particular people (Freeman 189). It is evident that they were the symbols of the life and beauty of the men’s body. It could be said that they remained alive while the actual and real people were deceased. They were the symbols of the people and their values. Lastly, it is evident that the culture of Ancient Greece and its traditions are actively reflected in the portrayal of the chosen piece of art.

Nonetheless, it has to be mentioned that the Greek culture was strongly influenced by the Egyptian perceptions of art in the portrayal of the human body (Kleiner 112). The position of the legs was one of the essential attributes, which was reflected in the sculpture from the Egyptian culture (Vlassopoulus 232). In this instance, the position of the statue indicates the Egyptian understanding of the image of men. Nonetheless, the Greek sculpture remained more relaxed than the Egyptian one, and the nudity was vehemently emphasized (Freeman 189). The combination of both cultures contributed to the development of Kouros.

In conclusion, it could be said that the statue of Kouros, which was presented in the museum remains in excellent condition. The Greek-style can be firmly recognized in the figure due to the features, which are applicable to the Greek sculptures. Nonetheless, it could be said that Egyptian influence cannot be unnoticed in the position of the human body. It actively portrays the values and respect for the male body and sexuality in Ancient Greece. Nonetheless, the original intention remains rather surprising, as the sculptures were located in cemeteries serving the role of the household representative.

Works Cited

Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece, and Rome: Civilizations of Ancient Mediterranean. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Kleiner, Fred. Gardner’s Art through the Ages. (Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013).

Lloyd, Janet, and Claude Calame. The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013).

Pache, Corinne. Baby and Child Heroes in Ancient Greece. (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004).

Sahaj, Tomasz. “The Body as a Form of ID and Social Differentiation (In Ancient Greece).” Human Movement, Vol. 12, No. 4 (2011): 385-390. Print.

Vlassopoulus, Kostas. Greeks and Barbarians. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Kouros Greek Statue: Facts and Analysis." June 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-kouros-greek-statue-facts-and-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Kouros Greek Statue: Facts and Analysis'. 10 June.

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