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The Archaic Period (600 490BC)



As the Greeks learned how to make monumental statues from the even more ancient
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civilisation of Egypt, the earliest of the archaic kouroi show a clear Egyptian influence. The
kouros pose and headdressstyle of the kouroi's hair seem to be clear indications of the…

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Many statues of the Archaic Period are made of marble. Stone's lowtensile strength
ensures that the limbs of any marble statue cannot be extended into a dramatic pose as
any unsupported limbs would inevitably break off. The kouros pose is welladapted to
accommodate the weaknesses of marble: as none of…

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Kouros of Anavyssos: 530BC


The kouros of Anavyssos was also a grave marker, and shows a change in artistic
approach. The sculptor seems to have been interested in creating a more realistic statue,
without the elements of pattern and symmetry featured on the earlier kouroi:

The archaic smile can be…

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Berlin Kore: 57060BC

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Generally believed to represent the goddess Demeter or Persephone , the figure holds a
pomegranate in her right hand whilst the left draws the top half of her drapery modestly over
her chest. Although the kore is not in the kouros pose, the…

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The archaic smile of the Berlin Kore creates the impression that the goddess is a benevolent
one. As Demeter/Persephone was associated with the harvest, it is understandable why the
sculptor would want to depict the deity as being kindly and welldisposed toward the viewer. A
kindly Demeter equates to a…

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The Classical Period: 490 ­ 323BC

The Classical Period as a whole stretches over 166 years. The Classical Period is divided
into two distinct periods, the 5th century Classical Period, that runs from 490 ­ 400BC, and
the 4th century Classical Period, which stretches from 400 ­ 323BC. The 5th…

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Hubris :


The Greeks seem to have viewed their victories in the Persian Wars as a victory awarded by
the gods. As the Persian Empire was so vast, according to the Greeks, it was by definition
hubristic (excessively large). Similarly, as the Persian King was a monarch with absolute…

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Kritios Boy: 490BC


The Kritios Boy is the first statue of the 5th century Classical Period, and represents an
artistic revolution as the statue manages to break out of the restrictive kouros pose and
create a fully realistic statue. Kritios achieves this in a number of ways:

Unlike the Archaic…

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The Lost Wax Technique:

This was the name for the method of production used when creating bronze statues
(sometime it's referred to as the hollow wax technique).

Figure made in clay
Figure then covered in wax.
Waxcovered figure next encased in clay moulds.
Molten bronze poured into the clay moulds…

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The Tyrannicides: 477BC

The Tyrannicides is a much more explicitly political statue than the Kritios Boy. Originally
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exhibited in the Athenian Agora , this statue was made of bronze (although only survives in
Roman copies of the original Greek statue).

The historian Thucydides recounts the story of the pederastic…

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