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by Archaeology Newsroom

Nude Kouros – Dressed Man: Aspects of the Masculine Nudity and the Typology of the Role of Sex in the Preclassical and Classical Art

In studying thoroughly the way the ancient Greeks perceived masculine nudity, one has to take under consideration the fact that the civilization of the Classical period was a man-centered culture. The representation of the nude male body was considered to be a symbol of masculinity and pride, directly connected with aesthetic and moral values. On the one hand, these values consisted of the ideal proportions in the representation of the muscular system in sculpture, while they referred to the overall apearance in vase painting. These figurative ideals that have been revived in our modern world through the German romanticism have created a model for the mature male body or the body of the kouros, the male youth. The praised plastic properties of the marble can perfectly convey the plasticity of the mascular system. On the other hand, nudity as a value greatly affected the ideal of perseverance, the virtue of the hoplite and as a result the cultural physiognomy of the adult, the mature citizen.