Greece: Male torso
Circa 480-470 BC
This statue, now broken, was reused in the Roman theater at Miletus, as indicated by two holes made in the back in order to secure the statue with metal tenons.
A characteristically Greek spirit of competition between artists lay behind the rapid strides made towards increasingly faithful depictions of reality. Realism was finally achieved in the early Classical period (480-323 BC), and this torso dating from 480 BC offers a lifelike representation of a human body. The rendering of the abdominal muscles and the indentation of the ribs is convincing, but traces of the recent Archaic style may still be detected in the highly decorative treatment of the pubic hair and the pronounced hollow of the back.
The pose of the figure is quite unlike the rigid stance of the kouros, however. The rendering of the right shoulder blade shows that the arm was stretched out in front. The right hip is higher than the left and the right buttock more contracted than the other, indicating that the man stood with his pelvis tilted and his weight shifted naturally on to one leg.
At this time Classical sculptors were making advances in several areas, but focused mainly on the rendering of the male body, later shown in motion. The Archaic smile also vanished.