Marble statue of a kouros (youth)

ca. 590–580 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Marble, Naxian
H. without plinth 76 5/8 in. (194.6 cm); H. of head 12 in. (30.5 cm); length of face 8 7/8 in. (22.6 cm); shoulder width 20 5/16 in. (51.6 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1932
Accession Number:
  • Description

    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. 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.

  • Provenance

    Said to be from Attica

    Acquired October 6, 1931, purchased from Jacob Hirsch, New York.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. and Irma A. Richter. 1934–1936. "The Archaic 'Apollo' in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolian Museum Studies, 5: pp. 20-57, figs. 1-14, 23.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1939. Guide to the Collections: Ancient and Oriental Art--Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek and Roman Far Eastern, Near Eastern Oriental Armor, Vol. 1, World's Fair Edition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 53, 346, fig. 18.

    Taylor, Francis Henry. 1952. "The Archaic Smile: A Commentary on the Arts in Times of Crisis." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 10(8): p. 223.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 47, 193, pl. 33.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, no. 1, pp. 1-2, pls. 1-3.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1970. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. New York: Dutton.

    Avery, Catherine B. 1972[1962]. The New Century Handbook of Greek Art and Architecture. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, p. vii, pl. 1.

    Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, England, p. 45, pl. 10a.

    Reuterswärd, Patrik. 1980. Studien zur Polychromie der Plastik. Stockholm: Bokförlaget Svenska, pp. 45, n. 75, 66.

    Levi, Peter. 1980. Atlas of the Greek World. Oxford: Phaidon Press, p. 70.

    1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Métraux, Guy P. R. 1995. Sculptors and Physicians in Fifth-Century Greece: A Preliminary Study. Montréal: McGill-Queen's University Press, fig. 13.

    Bol, Peter C. 1997. Liebieghaus-Museum alter Plastik. Fuhrer durch die Sammlungen: Griechische und Romische Plastik. Frankfurt am Main: Liebieghaus Skulpturen Sammlung, p. 37, Abb. 18.

    Brinkmann, Vinzenz. 2007. "The Coloring of Archaic and Early Classical Sculpture." Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity, Vinzenz Brinkmann and Raimund Wünsche, eds. Cambridge: Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Art Museums, pp. 32-33, fig. 26.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 67, pp. 70-71, 419.

    Carter, Jane B. and Laura J. Steinberg. 2010. "Kouroi and Statisics." American Journal of Archaeology. p. 107, fig. 2.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 64.

  • See also