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The Marion Kouros

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1887,0801.1

  • Title (object)

    • The Marion Kouros
  • Description

    Parian marble kouros.
    Statue of a nude standing youth, less than life-size; from the base of the neck to below the knees is preserved, the head and lower legs are missing. Both arms are broken away above the biceps. Except for minor abrasions, the surface is in excellent condition.
    The youth stands to the front, balanced on both legs, the right slightly drawn back. The arms were at the sides, the forearms bent forward to reach the front of the thighs, where the points of attachment remain. The hair was short, as no trace remains on the neck.
    The bony structure of the chest is heavily emphasised, in contrast with the remainder of the modelling, the other body forms being slender and soft. The collar-bones are prominent; the shoulders are narrow and sloping. The breasts are high placed and in high relief, which is carried back to the armpits; both nipples are chipped, but were originally large. The lower edge of the ribs is strongly outlined; the navel is eye-shaped, the lower abdomen and the hips are long and narrow. The thighs and legs are square-cut in section. At the back the shoulders are flat and the pelvis prominent, the spine slightly incurved.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 520BC-510BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Type series

    • Ptoon 20 Group
  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 72 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Additional bibliography: M. Ohnefalsch-Richter 1893, Kypros, the Bible and Homer (London), 361-2, 497, 503; pls XXVII, 3 and CLXXIV, 2 [includes a description of the findspot by the excavator]; 1893 K. Sheedy 2008, 'The Marion Kouros in the British Museum', in ed. Y. Kourayos and F. Prost, La Sculpture des Cyclades à l’Époque Archaïque. BCH Supplément 48. Paris 2008, 335–65 (with full references to this date); D. Williams 2009, Masterpieces of Classical Art (London), 86.

    Also registered with this object was a silver coin of Idalion dating 'slightly before 500 B.C.' according to the register (1887,8-1.3) and a silver boss from a shield (1887,8-1.3). The comments in the register state that the tomb also contained 'gold cups, with acorns repoussé; electrum ring with engraving of boat of the sun; large bronze vessel; many black figure vases; no red figd. vases...and additional items'. Photographs of some of these are included in an album entitled 'Misc. Photographs II' in the Greek and Roman Department archive.

    For the excavations in 1886 see Ohneflsch-Richter 1893 passim; the main analytic account sis P Herrmann 1888, Das Gräberfeld von Marion auf Cypern (Berlin). Many of the contents of the 441 tombs opened during this campaign were sold in Paris in 1887, though the finds in the BM were directly through Charles Christian, one of the archaeological syndicate. The published catalogue details only a fraction of the overall finds, which amounted to several thousand items in total.BM Sculpture

    The statue is generally recognised as Ionic in origin ('Island-Ionic’, Studniczka; 'Samian’, Langlotz).
    Smith, no. 207; Collignon, Statues funeraires, p. 83; Deonna, Apollons archaiques, p. 238, no. 141, et passim; Furtwangler, Coll. Sabouroff, I, p. 54, n. 1; Herrmann, Graberfeld von Marion, p. 22; Langlotz, Frühgr. Bildhauerschulen, pp. 109, 118; Markides in J.H.S., 1913, p. 49; Müller, Nacktheit u. Entblössung, p. 113; Murray, Handb. of Gr. Arch., p. 246, fig. 8. Myres and Ohnefalsch-Richter, Cyprus Mus. Catalogue, p. 30; Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, Bible and Homer, p. 361, pl. XXVII, 3a and b; Orsi in Mon. Ant., I, p. 795, n. 4; Perrot, Hist. de l’Art, VIII, p. 400, n. 2; S. Reinach, Chroniques d'Orient I, p. 559 and in Rev. Critique, 1889, p. 285, n. 1, and Repertoire, II, p. 78. 3; Studniczka in Jahrbuch, 1911, pp. 125, n. 4, and 153.

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  • Bibliography

    • Sculpture B325 bibliographic details
    • Richter 1970 No. 179 and figs. 527-9 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G15

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    "H.Moore", Norwich, 13 Oct 1998
    2003 18 Oct-14 Dec, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 17 Jan-28 Mar, Kobe City Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 10 Apr-13 Jun, Fukuoka Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2004 26 Jun-29 Aug, Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 25 Jul-8 Oct, Busan Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 27 Oct-2006 31 Jan, Haengso Museum, Keimyung University, Daegu, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2006 18 Mar-4 Jun, Beijing, Capital Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    October 2012-January 2013, USA, Princeton, Princeton University Art Museum, 'City of Gold: Tomb and Temple in Ancient Cyprus'.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1887

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1887,0801.1

Parian marble kouros.  The statue is headless and both arms are broken from the just below the shoulder.  The legs are missing from below the knees and the genitals are damaged.  The figure is frontal with a pectoral muscles, abdomen, hips and buttocks modelled with a roundness associated with Ionian schools of sculpture.

Parian marble kouros. The statue is headless and both arms are broken from the just below the shoulder. The legs are missing from below the knees and the genitals are damaged. The figure is frontal with a pectoral muscles, abdomen, hips and buttocks modelled with a roundness associated with Ionian schools of sculpture.

Image description

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