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Friday, April 10, 2015

Peplos Kore

This is the Peplos Kore from the Greek Archaic period. The clues that let you know it's Archaic are the patterned hair in an elaborate hairstyle that looks similar to braids, the essential Archaic smile that appears on sculptures throughout the 6th and 7th centuries B.C., and the stiff stance with one foot in front of the other to suggest walking.

The Archaic period was the first period of sculpture that seemed to introduce realism. The details in the hair, the emotion in the smile, and the movement from the suggested walking all represent a form of realism that had never appeared in sculpture for the Greeks prior to this period. This is known as the Attic style which emerged during the Archaic period.

The kore is the feminine form of a kouros, and it differs because all females are clothed whereas most males are standing nude. The garment that the kore typically wears is called a chiton, a lightweight, single-piece garment, usually of linen, with buttoned sleeves and belted.  The chiton was was worn by both men and women at the time.  This kore is called the Peplos Kore because over her chiton she is wearing a peplos (a sleeveless single-piece garment, usually of wool, fixed at the shoulders with pins and belted).

The Peplos Kore was dedicated to the goddess Athena on the Acropolis at Athens in circa 530 B.C. It is made from marble and is slightly under life-size. This particular kore has small traces of blue paint pigments on parts of the garments it is wearing, and that tells us that at one point the entire sculpture was painted. Several modern replicas have been made with suggestions as to what the painted details may have looked like.

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