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Relief of youth crowning himself from Sounion

Collection: Athens, National Archaeological Museum
Title: Early Classical relief of youth crowning himself from Sounion
Context: Probably from Sounion
Findspot: Found at Sounion, with a cache of kouroi, near the Temple of Athena (1915)
Summary: Young man crowning himself
Object Function: Votive?
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Stele, relief-decorated
Category: Single monument
Style: Early Classical
Technique: Low relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 470 BC - ca. 460 BC

H 0.48 m, W 0.495 m

Scale: Under life-size
Region: Attica
Period: Early Classical

Subject Description:

A nude young man (athlete), standing in 3/4-view to the left, tilts his head down. He holds his left arm at his side, and reaches his right hand to touch a wreath on his head, perhaps crowning himself. His medium-length hair emerges in curls beneath the taenia, while it is flat on the top of his head. Although the youth is likely a victor (in an athletic contest, as is indicated by his nudity), the downward tilt of his head is likely a reverential bow to the gods.

Condition: Single fragment

Condition Description:

Single fragment preserving the central portion of relief, with the top half of the figure, and some of both verticle edges. Stained and chipped, with slight accretions on the arms and hands.

Technique Description:

A series of holes just below the band around the youth's head were attachment holes for a metal wreath, now lost.

Collection History:

Found in 1915 near the Temple of Athena in Sounion.

Sources Used:

Stewart 1990, fig. 303; Karouzou 1968, 34, pl. 18