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The difference between an archaic statue such as Kroisos (fig. 5-11) and a classical statue such as Doryphoros (fig. 5-42) may not seem very great in a single glance. In fact, you may not notice any differences in that one glance. Yet, if you were to look at them closely, you can see that these two statues actually have very little in common.
The first glance you’ve taken at those two statues, you just see a man standing there. They are not doing anything in particular, just standing there. That was only in the first glance of course. Now take a good look at each one. In the archaic Greek kouros figure, the pose of the figure is very frontal. The entire figure is relatively stiff with the exception of the left leg, which is in front of the body giving it the early contrapposto pose. Even though it does have a much more natural pose to it with the one leg out, the rest of the body is not in a pose as if the weight of the body was put into one leg. The head is stiff with the hair being geometric and with the hair falling back on the body. The physical stature of the body is moderately realistic. The muscles are not quite as well defined but they are still semi-realistic. They are portrayed as if they were tense. The arms are also at the side.
In the other figure, Doryphoros, there seems to be much more expression. The contrapposto pose is very realistic. The weight is shifted all throughout the body. Arms are not stiff at the sides, but one is relaxed while the other is at a forty-five degree angle from the elbow. There is tension in the calf from the leg, which is being raised up. The torso is also somewhat at an angle because of the hips. The head is not frontal, but at an angle. The muscles are very defined but very relaxed. The hair is not naturally flowing, but not geometric.
The emotion in the figures is also very different. In the archaic figure, the face contains emotion other than the archaic smile. The eyes are closed with no facial expression. The classical statue on the other hand does not have any facial expressions but has open eyes and no smile.
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The emotion in the archaic figure is nothing more than the smile. The stiff figure gives no feeling of anything. Neither emotion nor animation is present. The classical figure has the facial expression of something like contemplation, but his figure is in a pose of relaxation while holding a spear.
The two statues are both made out of marble. However, the Doryphoros, is a marble copy of a bronze original. The Kouros figure was painted. The “skin” was not painted it was polished. The eyes and hair were painted a natural color. There is no support for the archaic statue other than the base. The classical statue does have a support other than the base.
These two statues might seem to be very similar, yet they actually contain almost no similarities. The archaic figure is a very stiff and frontal one. The classical is a very emotional and realistic one.