Art/ Collection/ Art Object

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:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154
This 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, almost abstract, geometric forms predominate; and anatomical details are rendered in beautiful analogous patterns. The statue marked the grave of a young Athenian aristocrat.
#117: The Director's Tour, First Floor: Statue of a Kouros (Youth), Part 1
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#5869: The Director's Tour, First Floor: Statue of a Kouros (Youth), Part 2
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Said to be from Attica (Richter 1931, p. 220)

Acquired October 6, 1931, purchased from Jacob Hirsch, New York.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1932. "The Archaic Greek Statue." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 27(10): pp. 217–23, figs. 1–4.

1932. "Editorial Comment." American Journal of Archaeology, 36(4): p. 381, pl. A.

Beazley, John D. 1932. Greek Sculpture & Painting to the End of the Hellenistic Period. p. 20, fig. 34, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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.

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Richter, Gisela M. A. 1942. Kouroi: A Study of the Development of the Greek Kouros from the Late Seventh to the Early Fifth Century B.C.. no. 1, pp. 63-6, pls. VI-VIII, figs. 19-26, XIII, fig. 42, XX, fig. 67, CXXXII, figs. 448-50, New York: Oxford University Press.

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

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

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

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

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1970. "The Department of Greek and Roman Art: Triumphs and Tribulations." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 3: pp. 82, 85, fig. 17.

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

Hoving, Thomas. 1970. "Director's Choice." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 28(5): pp. 202–3.

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Höckmann, Ursula. 2004. "Werke zyprischer Bildhauer im griechischen Naukratis. Eine Kourosstatuette in Oxford." Sepulkral- und Votivdenkmäler östlicher Mittelmeergebiete (7. Jahrhundert v.Chr. - 1. Jahrhundert n.Chr.) : Kulturbegegnungen im Spannungsfeld von Akzeptanz und Resistenz : Akten des Internationalen Symposiums Mainz, 01.-03.11.2001, Renate Bol and Detlev Kreikenbom, eds. p. 63 n. 26, Mönnesee: Bibliopolis.

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. pp. 32-33, fig. 26, Cambridge: Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Art Museums.

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