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Comparing Marble statue of a kouros (youth), ca. 590580 B.C. Archaic and Statuette of Amun, ca. 945715 B.C.E. Dynasty 22 late Dynastic period - Essay Example

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The statue of the kouros dating from 590-580 B.C. represents a noble young man, and it is assumed to be one of the earliest freestanding marble statues from Attica, the region around Athens - this is what we find out from the presentation made by the Metropolitan Museum of Art…
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Comparing Marble statue of a kouros (youth), ca. 590580 B.C. Archaic and Statuette of Amun, ca. 945715 B.C.E. Dynasty 22 late Dynastic period
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Download file to see previous pages it was used to talk about an adolescent - not yet man, but not a child anymore. The first statues of this type were made of wood but later, Greeks learning from Egyptians, started carving them in stone. According to various sources, it's not only in the material used that the influence of the Egyptians is to be seen, but in the style of the statue also. The theme itself is derived from them. (Carpenter, 18)
Greek art is divided into several periods: the formative stage known under the name of geometric style (900-700B.C), a period when geometric and abstract models are predominant in art, the archaic period (700-500 B.C), the early classicism (480-450 B.C), the classic period (450-400 B.C.), the late classicism (400-350 B.C.), and the Hellenist period.
The archaic period is known as an age when very important events take place, greatly important especially for the future of architecture and sculpture. It's the period when the natural size men and women figures appear. They are shown in a standing position. Their rigid attitude and their frontal representation demonstrate the Egyptian influence. The masculine kouros resembles a lot the Egyptian statues, with the left leg forward and both arms very close to the body. Although presenting an idealized nude, the early kouros figures present rather geometric than natural features.
In Greece, art had no magical or mystical purposes as in Egypt or in other cultures. The places where the kouros statues were found in Greece as compared to the places where they appeared in Egypt are a proof of this fact. Egyptians placed them in tomb chambers where they were supposed to serve as refuges for the souls of the deceased persons, while in Attica they appear near burial places, far from temples. If early kouros statues mark tombs in Greece, they soon become the image of the living persons, not of the dead ones, representing the athlete, a deity, a human votary or anything that could be represented and thought of as having a material, physical body. They are not, like in the Egyptian art, "a symbol of a superstitious belief or an act of magic ritual" (Carpenter, 19), but a representation of something material, representation that suited the practical Greek mind. This is especially because of Greeks beliefs and philosophy of life. "The Greek Gods like all the Greek heroic company of myth and legend were as immediately accessible to artistic representation as anything in the world of sight."
(Carpenter, 18). That is why, in art, between human and divine there is no barrier.
Although taking the model from the Egyptians, the Greeks leave their own trace on the statue of the kouros, giving it certain particularities. Egyptians represent the male figure skirted, while Greeks represent the young man nude - which is the case for this kouros. Geometric forms predominate - mark of the Greek art, but the way the wrists and the knees are carved is a formula belonging to the Egyptian art. The long hair is rendered as a string of beads.
The reason why Charles Seltman, the author of Approach to Greek Art sees the Greek kouros statues in general as different from the Egyptian ones is the fact that "they didn't have portrait-like faces but features as formal and patterned as were the bodies."(34) And indeed, if we look attentively at the statue of kouros from 590-580 B.C. the truth of this statement is obvious. Eyes, nose and mouth seem only sketched and not clearly defined, ears are not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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