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Peplos Kore, detail of head, frontal view

Collection: Athens, Acropolis Museum
Title: Peplos Kore
Context: Athens, Acropolis
Findspot: Athens, Acropolis, west of the Erechtheum (in 1886)
Summary: Statue of maiden
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Free-standing statue: kore
Category: Single sculpture
Style: High Archaic
Technique: In-the-round
Original or Copy: Original (lost)
Date: ca. 530 BC - ca. 525 BC
Dimensions: H. 1.18 m not including plinth
Scale: Under life-size
Region: Attica
Period: High Archaic

Subject Description: Statue of a maiden. She takes her name from the heavy wool garment which she wears over her chiton (only the hem of the chiton is visible), though the precise nature of her dress has since been questioned because a peplos does not normally form sleeves as it seems to here. The simplicity of her dress is particularly noteworthy since by this time (the early 520's) the many other korai dedicated on the Acropolis invariably wear the more elaborate Ionic himation. This difference is sometimes explained as a manifestation of her Attic style or because she is the work of an older sculptor, but it has also been suggested that she should be separated from the series of maidens who were dedications to Athena. Ridgway suggests that her costume is deliberately old-fashioned and that her rigidity and four-squareness, in striking contrast to the developed plasticity and swelling contours of her body, can best be understood as an allusion to an archaic statue. Her dress has been noted as relating to that of Artemis in this period. She wore a stephane or wreath on her head and carried an attribute in her right hand which required a hole drilled through it, in addition to whatever she offered with the other.

Form & Style: The face is characterized by an interest in converging planes. The eyes and mouth occupy hollows which emphasize these features, separated by strongly protruding cheeks and a broad nose. The details are so close to the face of the Rampin Horseman that the two are often attributed to the same sculptor. If true, she must be one of his late works, for she is stylistically much advanced. The mouth, though retaining the up-lifted corners of an archaic smile, is now much softer, more relaxed, less triangular in form. The more developed form of the eyes corresponds to the equally developed forms of the body. Stylistically she is more advanced than the caryatids from Delphi and is approximately contemporary with the Siphnian Treasury there. The differences can be attributed to the Attic style of which she is considered a hallmark, although the cross-currents of stylistic influence are by now so omnipresent, especially in Athens, that an eastern influence has been claimed even for her.

Date Description: The date is based on stylistic evidence but can be closely correlated with the Siphnian Treasury, which on historical grounds can be dated immediately prior to 525 B.C.

Condition: Nearly complete

Condition Description: Missing only left forearm (which was attached separately) and lower right corner of skirt with forepart of feet.

Material Description: Parian Marble

Sources Used: Stewart 1990, 123, 244; Boardman 1978a, 75; Robertson 1975, 101; Ridgway 1977, 91, 110, 298; Brouskari 1974, 56-7; Richter 1968, no.113; Agora XI, 7-8

Other Bibliography: Tsirivakou-Neumann 1964