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Votive statue of a man

unknown550 BC - 500 BC

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Vienna, Austria

When the development of Greek monumental sculpture began in the mid-7th century BC, the dominant type was the kouros, a young naked male standing with his left leg forward and his arms at his sides. The stark frontality and compact unity of the figure, with its hanging, slightly bent arms and clinched fists as well as one leg striding forward, are attributable to Egyptian influence. The structure and posture of the statue, which was found in a shrine of Apollo at Pyla on the island of Cyprus, is largely in keeping with this type. At the same time, however, it has clearly been influenced by the chequered history of the island, which was under Assyrian supremacy in the 7th century, Egyptian dominance in the 6th century and later under Persian rule. Like some kouroi from the Ionian east – from Samos, Pergamum and Miletus – the Cypriot statues are, with few exceptions, attired in the oriental manner. While the Greek statues of kouroi are beardless as a sign of their youth, the votive statue from Pyla has a heavy beard of stylised ringlets, which is attributable to Assyrian influence, as well as a moustache consisting of several sculptural bands. The hair undulates across the forehead and falls like a wide wig far down the back of the statue, where it, like the rest of the back, has been only roughly finished. The head is adorned with a wide wreath of adversifoliate leaves that reverse direction at the middle of the forehead. The radiant face is dominated by the large, almond-shaped eyes with raised eyebrows, the powerful nose and the mouth, which has full lips slightly turned up at the corners, creating the impression of a restrained smile. Traces of colour in the area of the right thigh suggest that the garment was originally red. It leaves the right breast and the left side of the body exposed. The tight-fitting undergarment was probably only painted on. © Kurt Gschwantler, Alfred Bernhard-Walcher, Manuela Laubenberger, Georg Plattner, Karoline Zhuber-Okrog, Masterpieces in the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities. A Brief Guide to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 2011

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Additional Items

Votive statue of a man (Supplemental)

Votive statue of a man (Supplemental)

Votive statue of a man (Supplemental)

Votive statue of a man (Supplemental)

Votive statue of a man (Supplemental)

Votive statue of a man (Supplemental)

Votive statue of a man (Supplemental)

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