Bell Krater by Kurashiki Painter Classical Greek, 5th century BC Dionysias seated holding thyrsus with attendant
Briton Rivière British, 1840 - 1920 Phoebus Apollo Date: circa 1870
Apollo at Delphi
Romanticized Greek Culture Much is the belief in Greeks as epitome of masculinity. Popular belief abound that Greeks, especially Spartans, are hardened men. Their foundation of the modern day Olympian sports marks their zest on exemplifying strength, speed and endurance.
Beauty for the Greeks Beauty was sacred and ugliness or deformity hateful. Christ’s ministry to the lepers was unthinkable in Greek terms. In the Greek cult of beauty there was mystical elevation and hierarchical submission, but significantly without moral obligation.
The True Concept of “Greek Love” Facts have been suppressed ormagnified Cults of beauty have been persistently homosexual from antiquity to today’s hair salon and houses of couture Homosexuality is rationally accepted in Greek high culture. Athenians admire boys over women.
The Korai, the kouros, and the kritios
Classic Athens found the fatty female body unbeautiful, because it was not a visible instrument of action. Peploskore, circa 530 BC, Athens, Acropolis Museum.
Archaic kore (maiden) Clothed and utilitarian One hand proffering a votive plate
The "Auxerre Goddess" perhaps from Crete, limestone, c. 2.1' h, c. 640-630 B.C. (Louvre, Paris)The 'Berlin Kore' from Keratea, Attica, stone, c. 6.3' h, c. 570-560 B.C. (Staatliche Museen, Berlin)The 'PeplosKore' from the Acropolis, stone, c. 3.8' h, c. 530 B.C. (Acropolis Museum, Athens)Kore, stone, size NA, c. 500 B.C. (Acropolis Museum, Athens)Kore from the Acropolis, stone, c. 20" h, c. 480 B.C. (Acropolis Museum, Athens) Evolution of the Korai
From Kourosto Kritian Kouros from Attica, stone, c. 6' h, c. 600-590 B.C. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)Kouros of Melos, stone, c. 7' h, c. 570-560 B.C. (National Museum, Athens)Kouros of Tenea, stone, c. 4.5' h, c. 550 B.C. (Glyptothek, Munich)Kouros of Anavysos, stone, c. 6.3' h, c. 540-530 B.C. (National Museum, Athens)Pireaus Apollo, hollow cast bronze, c. 6' h, c. 530-520 B.C. (National Museum, Athens)Kouros for Aristodikos, stone, c. 6' h, c. 510-500 B.C. (National Museum, Athens)The Kritian Boy, stone, c. 2.8' h, c. 500-480 B.C. (Acropolis Museum, Athens)
The kouros stands like a pharaoh, firsts clenched and one foot forward.
As compared to the strict symmetry of Egyptian sculpture, the Kritios Boy looks one way while shifting his weight to the opposite leg.
The kouros stands heroically bare in Apollonian externality and visibility.
Unlike two-dimensional phreonic sculptures, he invites the strolling spectator to admire him in the round. He is not king or god but human youth.
The archaic kouros was always callipygian, the large buttocks more stressed and valued than the face.
The buttocks of the Kritios Boy have a feminine refinement, as erotic as breasts in Venetian paintings.
While the archaic kouros is vigorously masculine, the early and high classic beautiful boy perfectly harmonizes masculine and feminine. Kouros Kritios
“The adolescent in bloom is a synthesis of male and female beauties.” J.Z. Eglinton The Image of the beautiful boy
The beautiful boy is the representational paradigm of high classic Athens. He is pure Apollonian objectification, a public sex object.
The beautiful boy is an androgyne, luminously masculine and feminine.
His broad-shouldered narrow-waisted body was a masterwork of Apollonian articulation, every muscle group edged and contoured.
There was even a ropy new muscle, looping the hips and genitals.
A small, thin penis was fashionable, a large penis is vulgar and animalistic.
These youths have a distinctly ancient Greek face: high brow strong straight nose, girlishly fleshy cheeks, full petulant mouth, and short upper lip.
The beautiful boy has flowing or richly textured hyacinthine hair, the only luxuriance in this chastity. In its artful negligence and allure, the hair traps the beholder’s eye.
The beautiful boy, the object of all eyes, looks downward or away or keeps his eyes in soft focus because he does not recognize the reality of other persons or things. His eyes fix on nothing His face is pale and oval which nothing is written.
Idealizing The Beautiful Boy
The beautiful boy was always beardless, frozen in time. His beauty could not last and so was caught full-flower by Apollonian sculpture. The Greek boy, like Christian saint, was a martyr, victim of nature’s tyranny.
The beautiful boy was desired and not desiring. In convention, his adult admirer could seek orgasm, while he remained unaroused.
The beautiful boy was an adolescent, hovering between a female past and male future
The beautiful boy is the Greek angel, a celestial visitor from the Apollonian realm. An Exceptional Greek (Argive) High Classical Bronze Mirror with a Support in the Form of a Draped Woman Boy’s voices “add an unforgettable radiance and serenity to their part, impossible to sopranos, however good.” Alec Robertson
The beautiful boy, suspended in time, is physically without physiology.
The adolescent male, one step over puberty, is dreamy and removed, oscillating between vigor and languor.
The Greek beautiful boy was a living idol of the Apollonian eye.
David Donatello The pink-cheeked beautiful boy is emotional vernality, spring only. He represents a hopeless attempt to separate imagination from death and decay.
The beautiful boy dreams but neither thinks nor feels. He is cruel in his indifference, remoteness, and serene self-containment.