Anavysos Kouros
from Anavysos, Attica
Height 6 feet 41/2 inches
c. 530 BCE
(National Archaeological Museum of Athens)

The Anavysos kouros, named after the village in Attica where he was found and dating to about 530 B.C.E., shows advances towards more naturalistic proportions and more supple contours. The sculptor has penetrated the block to a greater depth, and thus achieved greater three-dimensionality. Individual forms are more rounded and naturalistic, and there is a greater unification of the parts of the body and a more strongly felt corporeality. Details are seen in the round and indicated as modelled shapes with less emphasis on linear patterning. The head reveals an increased ability to render anatomy realistically - having been given a more natural shape and greatly improved detail (note the tear ducts). However, it is still executed in the stiff, upright, one foot forward, rigidly frontal stance. The so-called Archaic smile, not a reflection of an emotional state but an index of vitality, has appeared.

© Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe