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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

F. B. Tarbell, A History of Ancient Greek Art

The archaic period of Greek Sculpture. First half: 625 (?)-550 B.C.

A few typical works of the early archaic period

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ARISTOTLE

THE GREEK OLD TESTAMENT (SEPTUAGINT)

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SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN

CAVAFY

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Page 2

Another series of figures, much more numerously represented, gives us the corresponding type of male figure. One of the earliest examples of this series is shown in Fig. 78, a life-sized statue of Naxian marble, found on the island of Thera in 1836. The figure is completely nude. The attitude is like that of the female type just described, except that the left foot is advanced. Other statues, agreeing with this one in attitude, but showing various stages of development, have been found in many places, from Samos on the east to Actium on the west. Several features of this class of figures have been thought to betray Egyptian influence.[1] The rigid position might be adopted independently by primitive sculpture anywhere. But the fact that the left leg is invariably advanced, the narrowness of the hips, and the too high position frequently given to the ears –  did this group of coincidences with the stereotyped Egyptian standing figures come about without imitation? There is no historical difficulty in the way of assuming Egyptian influence, for as early as the seventh century Greeks certainly visited Egypt and it was perhaps in this century that the Greek colony of Naucratis was founded in the delta of the Nile. Here was a chance for Greeks to see Egyptian statues; and besides, Egyptian statuettes may have reached Greek shores in the way of commerce. But be the truth about this question what it may, the early Greek sculptors were as far as possible from slavishly imitating a fixed prototype. They used their own eyes and strove, each in his own way, to render what they saw. This is evident, when the different examples of the class of figures now under discussion are passed in review.

[1] See Wolters's edition of Friederichs's "Gipsabgusse antiker Bildwerke," pages 11 12.


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