Explore highlights
Marble statue of a kore (girl) holding a bird

 

Height: 39.000 cm

GR 1889.5-22.2 (Sculpture B 319)

Room 13: Greece 1050-520 BC

    Marble statue of a kore (girl) holding a bird

    East Greek, about 540-500 BC
    Said to be from Theangela, modern Turkey

    This kore (maiden) wears a chiton (tunic) belted under the breasts and pinned at the shoulders. Over this she has a short himation (cloak), which covers part of her upper body. An additional garment is worn over her shoulders at the back.

    In Archaic Greek art the successful treatment of drapery was important in female statues, whereas the sculptors of male figures worked towards the ideal nude. The intricate patterns of drapery and garments worn by female statues were shown closely following the contours of the figure in some places, but hanging freely in others. To avoid monotonous vertical folds over the legs the women sometimes grasp the material of the chiton and pull it gently to one side. Additional decoration was provided by boldly painted designs on the drapery. The hair was also often coloured and the flesh tinted.

    Both male (kouroi) and female (korai) statues could be used for votive offerings to the gods, usually with an inscription naming the dedicator (many of which are lost) and often with a gift held in one hand - this statue holds a bird. Similar types were used at tombs, to represent the dead, or could serve as cult images representing the Greek gods.

    G.M.A. Richter, Korai (London, Phaidon, 1968)

    Highlights

    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    On display: Room 13: Greece 1050-520 BC

    Shop Online

    Fun guide to the heroes and heroines of ancient Greece, £6.99

    Fun guide to the heroes and heroines of ancient Greece, £6.99