New York Kouros

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The New York Kouros

The New York Kouros is one of the earliest examples of a Greek free standing statue that still stands strong today. The inspiration for these life-like statues came from the Egyptians. When we look back at when Greek statues started to come about, we notice that it is about the same time that the Egyptians started to let foreigners past their borders for trade and other matters. We notice that, at first, they used the same technique and proportions used for Egyptian works. This is probably why, in the New York Kouros, we see great resemblance to other Egyptian statues. We look at the position of the statue itself and notice that it stands in exactly the same pose as most of other Egyptian works. They call this the ‘Frontal Pose,' body and head facing forward with arms hanging parallel to the sides and the left leg in front of the other. When thought about, it looks as if the legs are set in a walking position but the body looks stiff and immobile. This would not have bothered the Greeks in their early work, it is likely that the legs are positioned like this to give the statue more support and help it stand up right. A significant difference between the cultures statues at this time is the fact that while the Egyptian piece is still retained in its original block of stone, the Greek figure is cut free. This is because the Greeks always tried to make their pieces as a replica of the human body. Also different to Egyptian pieces, the Greeks used a great deal of symmetry to help them. We can see that where the legs join the torso there is a large ‘V' shape indented in, this shape is mirrored through the belly button. There is a similar symmetry around the shoulder area. Again this symmetry helps in making these statues look more life-like but also helps in making the statue more of a thing of beauty.

The statue is made of Naxian marble which has its advantages and disadvantages. Firstly we realise that Naxian marble is fairly expensive and...
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