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Prudy Whalen

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ARCH 120
Artifact Report
Professor Maggidis
December 8, 2016

The Sounion Kouros and the Antikythera Youth are similar, yet differ in many ways.
While both depict a young, nude man, the former is from the Early Archaic period and the latter
stems from the Late Classical era. There are key factors from each time period that can account
for the difference and shift between these two works of art.
Archaic sculpture was created for three main reasons: for grave-markings, dedications, or
as cult sculptures. There are also distinct characteristics for archaic sculptures that make it easy
to distinguish from other eras of sculpture. It is evident that the Sounion Kouros is from the
Archaic period because there is a clear Egyptian influence in the posture of the sculpture. The
hairstyle depicted on the sculpture is also reminiscent of the early archaic period as well as
Egyptian sculpture. The nudity of the sculpture shows that this young man was an athlete and it
shows his Greek nationality. The musculature of this tatue
The Sounion Kouros and the Antikythera Youth are similar, yet differ in many ways.
While both depict a young, nude man, the former is from the Early Archaic period and the latter
stems from the Late Classical era. There are key factors from each time period that can account
for the difference and shift between these two works of art.
Archaic sculpture was created for three main reasons: for grave-markings, dedications, or
as cult sculptures. There are also distinct characteristics for archaic sculptures that make it easy
to distinguish from other eras of sculpture. It is evident that the Sounion Kouros is from the
Archaic period because there is a clear Egyptian influence in the posture of the sculpture. It is
very rigid, with the left leg shown being forward as if the sculpture is taking a step forward. The
arms are also by the side in a very rigid position. These are all typically Egyptian characteristics.
The hairstyle depicted on the sculpture is also reminiscent of the early archaic period as well as

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Egyptian sculpture. The Sounion Kouros also has an archaic smile This smile was used to give
the illusion of the sculpture being alive to give it a sense of personality. The nudity of the
sculpture shows that this young man was an athlete and it shows his Greek nationality. The
musculature of this sculpture indicates that it is from the Archaic period as well.
The musculature and proportions of this sculpture also very Archaic. There are no clear
definitive muscles on the Sounion Kouros other than that of the pectoral muscles. The torso is
very narrow and elongated, and the body parts are quite disproportionate. There is no clear eye
definition, and the muscles depicted are very abstract and undefined.
In contrast to this, the classical Antikythera Youth is much more realistic. This style is
also known as severe style, or minimalistic realism. In this style, there is an emphasis on
movement and posture. There is also a minimalistic approach to figure and it was mostly crafted
on marble sculptures, although the earlier sculptures were performed on bronze. The musculature
on this sculpture is much more realistic and defined than that of the early archaic period. The
posture is also less rigid and more akin to what people would actually stand like. When looking
closely, you can even see the veins upon the hands and the feet, depicting a more realistic version
of a man that that of the archaic style. In terms of space, this sculpture takes up more space than
that of the former. This pose is much more realistic much than of the Sounion Korous. Instead of
one leg being forward and the weight of the sculpture being equally distributed between each leg,
the Antikythera Youth is shown in the contrapposto pose. This means that figure is shifted onto
one side of the body and the sculpture is given a more relaxed, realistic feel.
I would define Classical Idealism in Greek art and sculpture as a way for artists and
sculptors to a way to present the human form in a way that is perfect, ideal, and unattainable.
This emerged in the High Classical era and continued throughout the Late Classical era because
this period, from 450-400 B.C., was considered the Golden Age of Athens. This was the period
when all of the great thinkers of Athens, such as Sophocles and Socrates, were alive and
interacting within the city. After the Persian War ended, the city really began to flourish and
thrive economically, resulting in Classical Idealism being born.

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