The Kritios Boy, c. 480 BC, marble, the Acropolis Museum, Athens
Most place it at the end of the archaic period, others in the early classical. The Kritios Boy most likely named after his sculptor Kritias, was found on the Acropolis in Athens in the early 5th century BC where it was placed before or after the Persian Wars. The statue is not preserved in tact as parts of the right leg and hands are missing. His eyes are also missing because they were inlaid.
The Kritios Boy marks a turning point in Greek sculpture. Smaller than lifesize, the beautiful marble statue represents a calm young boy standing with the weight distributed to the right knee, while the left is bended (like a human stance). The weight distribution results in a most naturalistic form called the “contrapposto” (a pre-occupation of most greek artists).
Although the Kritios Boy is a frontal figure, he is depicted in a relaxed attitude with his muscles softened in a much more humanlike form and a life-like accuracy. The introduction of a new hairstyle and the missing of the “archaic smile” now replaced with the austere expression of the “Severe Style” characterized the transitional period from the Archaic to the Classical era.
Today's artwork of the day is a generous contribution of Eleftheria Pavli, BA, MA
Picture from: http://www.uncp.edu/home/rwb/lecture_med_civ.htm