Statuette of a Kouros

Object Details


Statuette of a Kouros






Etruria (Place created)


about 490 B.C.




22.5 × 9 cm (8 7/8 × 3 9/16 in.)

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Striding forward with his left foot advanced, the young man represented in this Etruscan bronze statuette extends his right hand and holds an object in his left. This statuette is based on a Greek prototype, the kouros, or statue of a youth. Although almost all Greek kouroi were nude with their hands falling to their sides, the Etruscan sculptor has adapted the form, clothing the youth and giving him an attribute to hold. Today, the attribute is missing, but the form of the youth's closed hand shows that it was cylindrical in shape. The youth wears a tebenna, a forerunner of the Roman toga, that is wrapped around his right hip with one end of the long garment pulled over his left shoulder from behind, and the other end thrown over his left forearm.

The statuette was probably dedicated in a sanctuary as a gift to the gods and the sculptor has taken great care with the details of the piece. The diagonal lines on the upper edge of the tebenna and the dots along the lower edge represent elaborate embroidery. After casting, the sculptor incised the individual strands of hair.

by 1982 - 1985

Maurice Tempelsman (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum through Robin Symes (London, England), 1985.

The God's Delight: The Human Figure in Classical Bronze (November 1, 1988 to August 31, 1989)
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), November 16, 1988 to January 8, 1989
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), February 9 to April 9, 1989
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, May 9 to July 9, 1989

Vermeule, Cornelius C. Catalogue of a Collection of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities Formed by a Private Collector in New York City During the Past Several Decades. (n.p.: unpublished, 1984), cat. no. 14A.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), pp. 184-85, no. 14.

Kozloff, Arielle P., and David Gordon Mitten, eds. The Gods Delight. The Human Figure in Classical Bronze. Exh. cat. The Cleveland Museum of Art, November 16, 1988-January 8, 1989; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 9-April 9, 1989; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, May 9-July 9, 1989, pp. 212-15, cat. no. 37, ill.

Ortiz, George. "Connoisseurship and Antiquity," Small Bronze Sculpture from the Ancient World. Papers Delivered at a Symposium Held at the J. Paul Getty Museum, March 16-19, 1989. Malibu: 1990. pp. 253-280, pp. 261-62, 264; figs. 6a-d.

Scott, David A., and Jerry Podany. "Ancient Copper Alloys: Some Metallurgical and Technological Studies of Greek and Roman Bronzes," Small Bronze Sculpture from the Ancient World. Malibu: 1990. pp.31-60, pp. 35; 43, Table 2, no. 8; 45, Table 3; fig. 2.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 30.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 131.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 127.

Scott, David A. Ancient Metals: Microstructure and Metallurgy (Los Angeles: Conservation Science Press, 2011), vol. 1, p. 15, fig. 3.1.