Marble statue of a kouros (youth), c. 590–580 B.C., Marble
Height without plinth 76 5/8 in. (194.6 cm); shoulder width 20 5/16 in. (51.6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The figure is notable for its symmetry and the geometric patterns and lines used to hint at the human body – the individualised curls of hair, for instance, the almond-shaped eyes, the curving incisions on the back hinting at shoulderblades and elbows. With one foot stepping forwards – a stance adopted from Egyptian painting and sculpture – however, he very subtly breaks the geometric symmetry; hinting at the possibility of movement. It is this literal step forward which will thrust us into the advances of the archaic and classical periods in the realistic depiction of movement in the human form.