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""Head of Youth," A Look At A Greek Sculpture"
"Head of Youth," A Look At A Greek Sculpture
Janet Valerio
Head of a Youth

For this assignment, I viewed the Greek "Head of Youth." This piece is actually the head and face of a marble carving of a young, striding, nude male. I viewed this sculpture in room 102 of the Nelson Atkins Museum's Ancient Art Collection. It is, of course, very weathered an old, with the marble crumbling on the nose and mouth. There is also a large chunk of marble missing from its chin. Found in Attica, Greece, it is approximately seven and one half inches high, and was carved in about 490 B.C. during the Archaic Period. This period in Greek history lasted from 600 B.C to 480 B.C. Its most important event was probably the overthrowing of tyrants in Athens and the establishment of democracy in the city, which led to important advancements in art, literature, and science.

"Head of Youth" is basically a vaguely triangular head, with a very flat shape. His hair is a series of spiral coils (two rows) on the crown, and closely styled over the back. His large eyes seem to be placed high on his head, and he has very full, slightly smiling lips. The eyes, ears, nose and mouth seem to simply be placed on a flat surface to create the face, which is probably evidence of a workshop environment used to create the sculpture. Usually, the ears, nose, eyes, and mouth were drawn onto the marble block and then carved out by workers. This process made for a very flat, geometric face, which seemed to almost contradict the accuracy with which the rest of the body is portrayed.

"Head of Youth" is a prime example of a common type of Greek sculpture called a kouros, meaning "youth." Kouroi are said to emulate the general stance of many Egyptian statues, showing the...

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