Art of the Ancient World, C. 5000 B.c.e.–400 C.E.

Ancient Greek Art

What is a kouros?

Kouros (plural kouroi) is a term used to refer to a freestanding sculpture of a young male during the Archaic period of ancient Greek art. A female equivalent is known as a kore (plural korai). These statues were usually life-size and influenced by Egyptian sculpture. A kouros faces frontally and takes a small step forward, much like the sculpture of Menkaure and a Queen. The arms are held firmly at the sides and the hair is formed in long rows of stylized braids. Unlike Egyptian sculptures, male kouroi were completely nude and emphasized youth and athleticism.


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