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CC11: Kore

04 November 2023

Head of a Kore

Plaster cast, Ministry of Culture Casts and Reproductions, Greece, 1988
Purchased, 1996

DimensionsH 21cm
Acc #: CC11, James Logie Memorial Collection

Copy of marble head of a Kore from Eleusis, 6th century BC
Found at Eleusis, Greece, 1882
National Archaeological Museum, Athens, #: 27



The artistic style of this kore is late Archaic as indicated by her detailed and elaborate hairstyle, smile, and almond-shaped eyes defined by a thin rim. The inclusion of earrings and a headpiece suggests wealth and prestige, which may have been a deliberate attempt to reflect the status of the person who dedicated the bust.



Being smaller than life-size, this kore was most likely a dedicatory statue within the fortifications of Eleusis, a sanctuary dedicated to Demeter and Persephone, which was constructed in the sixth century BC.

In mythology, the Greek goddess Persephone was often identified as Kore to emphasise her innocence as a youthful maiden. This head may have been part of a votive statue to Persephone. It may be that the face resembles that of the donor. Alternatively, the kore head may have been dedicated at the theatre of Dionysos, during one of the many festivals held in Eleusis. Dedicating korai was a common practice in the sixth century BC. The connection between an individual and the gods was an intrinsic part of Greek life.

The front of the hair and headpiece of the reproduced cast has been finished in a light pink tint, which suggests the copyist aimed to create the appearance of ageing paint. The original head, however, only shows minor traces of red paint on some curls, indicating that the coloured finish was part of the reproduction process in the late 1980s.


Further Reading

A short selection of references for this work includes:

  • Burnett Grossman, Janet. 2003. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone: A Guide to Terms, Styles, and Techniques. Los Angeles: Getty Publications
  • Davidson Reid, Jane. 1993. The Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts, 1300-1990s. Oxford: University Press
  • Greek Ministry of Culture. 1988. Catalogue of Casts and Reproductions. Athens: Archaeological Receipts Fund
  • Kaltsas, Nikolaos. 2002. Sculpture in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Los Angeles: Getty Publications
  • Lullies, Reinhard and Max Hirmer. 1957. Greek Sculpture. London: Thames and Hudson
  • Richter, Gisela Marie Augusta. 1968. Korai: Archaic Greek Maidens. London: Phaidon

Reverse view of the Head of a Kore

Side view of the Head of a Kore

Reverse view of the Head of a Kore
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