kouros

kouros
/koor"os/, n., pl. kouroi /koor"oy/. Gk. Antiq.
a sculptured representation of a young man, esp. one produced prior to the 5th century B.C.
[1915-20; < Gk koûros, dial. var. of KÓROS boy; cf. KORE]

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Archaic Greek statue representing a standing male youth.

These large stone figures began to appear in Greece с 700 BC and closely followed the Egyptian style of geometrical, rigid figures. Later forms reflect the Greeks' increased understanding of human anatomy and are more naturalistic. Kouroi sometimes represented the god Apollo, but more commonly served as votive offerings or grave markers. See also kore.

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▪ Greek sculpture
plural  kouroi 
 archaic Greek statue representing a young standing male. Although the influence of many nations can be discerned in particular elements of these figures, the first appearance of such monumental stone figures seems to coincide with the reopening of Greek trade with Egypt (art and architecture, Egyptian) (c. 672 BC). The kouros remained a popular form of sculpture until about 460 BC.

      The large stone figures began to appear in Greece about 615–590 BC. While many aspects of the kouroi directly reflect Egyptian influence—especially the application in some kouroi of the contemporary Egyptian canon of proportions—they gradually took on distinctly Greek characteristics. Unlike the Egyptian sculptures, the kouroi had no explicit religious purpose, serving, for example, as tombstones and commemorative markers. They sometimes represented the god Apollo, but they also depicted local heroes, such as athletes.

      Another difference between the Egyptian and Greek figures is evident shortly after the first appearance of archaic Greek statues: the Egyptians had developed a formula for the human figure that—with rare exceptions—they followed strictly over a period of thousands of years; distinctions between individuals were indicated chiefly by facial features. The earliest kouroi closely followed the Egyptian geometric norm: the figures were cubic, starkly frontal, broad-shouldered, and narrow-waisted. The arms were held close to the sides, fists usually clenched, and both feet were firmly planted on the ground, knees rigid, with the left foot slightly advanced. As Greek understanding of human anatomy increased, the kouroi became increasingly naturalistic. By the end of the kouros period, the figures were no longer frontal, nor were the arms and legs rigid. Having mastered the anatomy of the human figure and the problem of balance, Greek sculptors turned their sights to gesture and the depiction of action. See also kore.

Additional Reading
Gisela M.A. Richter and Irma A. Richter, Kouroi, 3rd ed. (1970, reprinted 1988); Andrew F. Stewart, Greek Sculpture: An Exploration (1990); The Getty Kouros Colloquium (1993), sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Nicholas P. Goulandris Foundation, and the Museum of Cycladic Art.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • kouros — [ kuros ] n. m. • 1934; couros 1930; mot gr. « jeune garçon » ♦ Arts Statue grecque archaïque représentant un jeune homme (cf. Korê). Des kouros. ● kouros, kouroi ou couros nom masculin (grec kouros, jeune homme) Statue de jeune homme nu, debout …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Kouros — (Науса,Греция) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: Kolympithres beach, Науса, 84401, Г …   Каталог отелей

  • Kouros — (Аполло,Греция) Категория отеля: 1 звездочный отель Адрес: Main Street, Аполло, 84301, Греция …   Каталог отелей

  • kouros — CÚ / s. n. statuie antică grecească reprezentând un tânăr atlet nud, în poziţie frontală, cu braţele întinse pe lângă corp şi cu un picior puţin scos înainte. (< fr., gr. kouros) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • kouros — [ko͞o′rō̂s] n. pl. kouroi [ko͞o′roi] [Gr] a statue of a nude male youth in a standing position, from the archaic period of Greek art (620 500 B.C. ) …   English World dictionary

  • Kouros — Münchner Kouros, Glyptothek (München) Ein Kouros (auch: Kuros; Plural Kouroi) ist in der griechischen Kunst der Archaik die Statue eines jungen Mannes, das männliche Pendant zur Kore. Während die Kore in der Regel mit einem …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kouros — Tête d’un kouros au musée national archéologique d Athènes. Un kouros (pluriel kouroï[1]) est la statue d un jeune homme, datant de la période archaïque de la sculpture grecque (de 650 à 500) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kouros — A kouros (plural kouroi) is a representation of a male youth, especially those dating from the Archaic period in Greece (about 650 BC to about 500 BC) and especially plastic (artistic sense), notably free standing Greek sculpture in stone… …   Wikipedia

  • kouros — noun (plural kouroi) Etymology: Greek kouros, koros boy more at crescent Date: 1920 an ancient Greek statue of a nude male youth standing with the left leg forward and arms at the sides …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • kouros — noun /ˈkuːɹɒs/ a sculpture of a naked youth in Ancient Greece, the male equivalent of a kore. , 1974: A redstone kouros from Sounion, this strapping young Amsterdammer, translated into the slenderer grace of the modern graminivore. Guy Davenport …   Wiktionary

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