The Kritios Boy
The Kritios Boy
The Kritios boy belongs to the Late Archaic period and is considered the precursor to the later classical sculptures of athletes. The Kritios or Kritian boy was thus named because it is believed to be the creation of Krito, the teacher of Myron, from around 480 BCE. The statue is made of marble and is considerably smaller than life-size at 1.17 m (3 ft 10 ins).
With the Kritios Boy the Greek artist has mastered a complete understanding of how the different parts of the body act as a system. The statue supports its body on one leg, the left, whiles the right one is bent at the knee in a relaxing state. This stance forces a chain of anatomical events as the pelvis is pushed diagonally upwards on the left side, the right buttock relaxes, the spine acquires an “S” curve, and the shoulder line dips on the left to counteract the action of the pelvis (contra-posto).
The Kritios Boy exhibits a number of other critical innovations that distinguish it from the Archaic Kouroi that paved its way. The muscular and skeletal structure are depicted with unforced life-like accuracy, with the rib cage naturally expanded as if in the act of breathing, with a relaxed attitude and hips which are distinctly narrower. As a final fore bearer of the classical period, the “smile” of Archaic statues has been completely replaced by the accurate rendering of the lips and the austere expression that characterized the transitional, or “Severe” period from the Archaic to the Classical era.