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Young Man
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Unknown
Greek, Chios, Greece, about 520 B.C.
Marble
12 13/16 in.
83.AA.216

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The kouros, a statue of a standing youth with his arms at his sides and one foot advanced, was the definitive artistic product of the Greek Archaic period. The kouros embodied the philosophy and ideals of the Greeks in the 500s B.C. It was used as a votive gift to the gods and also as a grave monument.

Although most kouroi are portrayed nude, a small group of a few dozen clothed examples survives. These kouroi come primarily from the Greek settlements in coastal Turkey or the Aegean islands and reflect a regional difference. The clothed kouroi have the same pose as their nude compatriots and served the same functions.

This fragment of an under life-size clothed kouros wears a thin, crinkly garment with a mantle thrown over his left shoulder. Aside from anatomical features, the placement of the mantle is the clue to the statue's gender. The equivalent female statue, or kore, wears the mantle over the right shoulder. The folds of the kouros' garment are carved flat without any volume, merely lines incised into the surface of the statue. This manner of carving may indicate that the statue comes from the island of Chios on the Turkish coast.