Greece, northern Peloponnese, perhaps Olympia, ca. late 6th century BCE. A cast bronze figure of a nude, youthful man, shown with his long hair falling to his neck, his left leg advancing, and his left arm bent at the elbow and raised slightly. The figure has prominent genitalia, with a powerful, muscular body that the artist has taken pains to depict, especially his bulging calves. Size: 1.5" L x 1.25" W x 4" H (3.8 cm x 3.2 cm x 10.2 cm); 3.9" H (9.9 cm) on included custom stand.
By the seventh century BCE, Greek art began to evolve from its embrace of geometric patterning, which was favored between approximately 1050 and 700 BCE, to a desire to create more naturalistic representations of the human figure. Most famous are the freestanding sculptures of two main types, the male standing youth known as a kouros, and the draped standing female kore. The earliest examples demonstrate an Egyptian influence in both pose and proportions, but over time sculptors created even more lifelike representations. These were placed in sanctuaries as well as cemeteries and served as grave markers and dedications to the deities.
A slightly taller example sold at Christie's New York in 2014 for $22,500: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-greek-bronze-kouros-archaic-period-circa-5859120-details.aspx
Provenance: ex-English collection, 2013, ex-Royal Athena Gallery, New York, New York, USA
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