Date ca. 480 BCE
Movement Greek | Early Classical
Provenance Akropolis, Athens, Greece
Housed at Akropolis Museum, Athens
The Kritios Boy is one of the most important statues in art history; while it may not be the first free standing statue, it is the first-known figure that stands with ease. Unlike its Egyptian and Greek predecessors, the Kritios Boy does not appear to be frozen in-step; rather, he appears animated and human-like; Kritios was able to achieve this look by placing the engaged knee ever so slightly above the forward knee, causing a naturalistic shift in the hips known as a chiastic pose, or contrapposto. Kritios buffed the marble to a smoothness that mimics the real elasticity of skin. The Kritios Boy truly reigns in the Classical Age by ditching the Archaic Smile and jarring frontality of the previous artistic era, instead taking upon an air of independence and intelligence by gazing off into his own world of thought.