Essay: Statues Ancient Greece

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[. . .] There remains a line along the neck showing where the two pieces were put together.

Unlike the straight and stoic position of the kourus the "Kritian Boy" statue is not posed in a straight line. According to art historians, "The muscular and skeletal structure are depicted with unforced life-like accuracy, with the rib cage naturally expanded as if in the act of breathing, with a relaxed attitude and hips which are distinctly narrower" (Kritios). Instead, the figure is molded so that the weight is predominantly on the left leg of the statue. Modulating the weight creates the impression that the boy is tilting his hips and swaying his spine slightly. The right leg of the "Kritian Boy" is highly detailed, showing the figure to be slightly bent at the knee while the right buttock of the statue appears equally relaxed, as though all the body's weight were on the left side (Kritios). The upper body is similarly tilted trying to add to the impression that this person could very well exist in the real world despite the fact that it is carved out of marble. Early Grecian art work was visibly more stiff in appearance largely because of the fact that artists were still learning to work with new mediums. By the Classical period, mastery had been achieved and artists strove to add emotional depth to their work and to recreate as close a proximity to real world beings as possible. "Kourus" shows they artistic style of the earlier period. There is very little attempt to make a figure which closely resembles a living person. The body shows some muscular definition but only in a general way. In fact, the only parts of the body which have a great deal of detail are in the joints of the elbows and knees and also in the statues male organ (Marble). The physical bodies of the two sculptures are very different, showing the artistic levels of sculptural mastery which had been achieved during the respective eras.

The two sculptures are made of different materials and are different in size. "Kourus" is made of Naxian marble which is duller in appearance that the pure white of the "Kritios Boy." It was also more abundant. Parian marble had to be mined from a small island and was used mostly for religious sculptures rather than those whose purpose was to be placed within secular buildings. It is possible that the abundance of the material influenced the size of the pieces. "Kritios Boy" is only a bit over a meter tall which would be the approximate height of a young man. "Kourus" on the other hand stands over six feet tall. Obviously few teenagers or adolescents are this tall. According to researchers this is something of an anomaly. Most of the kourus statues are similar to the "Kritios Boy" in that the figures are generally around three or four feet tall, the same as a real-world youth (Greek). This is a very interesting difference and underscores the fact that the latter was designed to be a closer representation to a real person than the earlier statue.

Both the sculpture "Kourus" and the "Kritios Boy" are sculptures of young men dating back to the period of Ancient Greece. The two pieces were carved about a century apart and it is clear by examining the two how different the aesthetics of the Greek culture were. Whereas "Kourus" more clearly exhibits the influence of the Ancient Egyptians and is more unrealistic in its depiction of a Greek youth, the "Kritios Boy" sculpture looks very much like a real person, at least in the body. The head seems less realistic but that might be explained by the theory that this is not the right head. By the Classical period, the artists were more established in their own aesthetic appeal and did not use the influence of the ancient cultures.

Works Cited

Clark, Kenneth. The Nude: a Study in Ideal Form. 1956. Print.

"Faculty of Classics Archive." Kritios Boy. University of Cambridge, 2009. Web. 09 Mar. 2013.

"Greek Art." Kouros. Ancient-Greece, 2013. Web. 09 Mar. 2013.

Hurwit, Jeffrey M. "The Kritios Boy: Discovery, Reconstruction, and Date." American Journal

of Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. (93:1), 1989. 41-80. Print.

"The Kritios Boy." The Kritios Boy. Ancient-Greece, 2013. Web. 09… [END OF PREVIEW]

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