Kuros von Tenea

Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek


The figure was discovered in 1846 near Corinth, in the area of the ancient settlement of Tenea. It served as a funerary statue and probably depicted the deceased who was to be remembered beyond death. The Kouros of Tenea was created in c.560 BC.

In c.650 BC, in archaic Greece, sculptors began to create monumental marble statues of young men and women. They are called “korai” and “kouroi”, which means “girls” and “youths”. Kouroi always stand in the same posture: the left foot is set forward. The weight of the upper body is evenly distributed over both legs, so that there is no weight shift in the figure. Mobility is shown here rather than actual movement. Consequently, the arms are held close to the body. The view is directed straight ahead. The face with the “archaic smile” immediately addresses the viewer.

The human body is precisely recorded in its anatomy. The details are reproduced partly in a natural, partly in a stylised way. This mode of depiction shows that the archaic Greeks were concerned about an ideal, not a naturalistic image of man.