Kritios Boy

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The Kritios boy belongs to the Late Archaic period and is the first sculpture that displays accurate human features that would later be the foundation of classical sculptures. The Kritios boy was named because it is believed to be the work of Krito, the teacher of Myron, from around 480 BCE. The statue is made of marble and is considerably smaller than a life-size human, standing at 1.17m. The torso of the sculpture was first found buried outside the Acropolis in 1866.The head was later found 23 years later. The bird droppings on the head indicate the statue at the time was kept outside rather than inside the Acropolis. With the Kritios Boy, the Greek artist has managed understand and show how the different parts of the body have their own role and shape. The statue supports its body on one leg, the left, while the right leg is bent at the knee in a relaxed position. This stance forces the pelvis to be pushed diagonally upwards on the left side while the spine acquires an “S” shape curve which makes the shoulder line dip on the left side of the body to counter the movement position of the pelvis, also known as a contra-posto. The eyes of the sculpture are hollow which would indicate that the eyes were made separately and were inserted later on. The Kritios Boy exhibits a number of other critical innovations that distinguish it from the Archaic Kouroi (young male statues from the Archaic Period) that paved its way. The muscles and structure are depicted with an ‘unforced’ life-like accuracy, with the rib cage naturally expanded as if the statue is taking a breath of air, with a relaxed attitude and hips which are distinctly narrower. A final note to add is the ‘smile’ that represented the Archaic period, is now gone. It is replaced with a more serious look, a look more life-like then anything else before it. It was this look and the body structure that made it one of the most amazing statues of its time.
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