The Daedalic figurine

Brozne statuette of a kouros following the so-called Daedalic style. © Ephorate of Antiquities of Phocis, Ministry of Culture and Sports

This bronze figurine, possibly representing Apollo, bears the features of the so-called daedalic art, developed in the early archaic period, during the second half of the 7th century B.C. According to a tradition, the Athenian Daedalus, who lived exiled in Crete, made statues in natural height, moving in a natural way. The term “daedala” was also used to denote the wooden talismans in antiquity. Daedalic art was developed initially in Crete and then particularly in the Doric cities and areas. The figures are frontal, hands stuck on the thighs, whereas the hairdo is formed in horizontal zones reminding of a wig (layered wig).

The naked male figure of the Museum of Delphi stands on a rectangular base, has a slightly protruding left leg and his hands with the fists tightly closed touch the thighs. The waist is thin and surrounded by a metallic belt, whereas the chest is robust and clearly traced. The back is almost flat, apart from the indentation along the spinal cord, which becomes deeper at the lower part. The face is triangular with intense lips, small pointing nose, eyes placed distanced from one another. The hair is combed in the typical style of “layered wig”, in five layers plus one covering the head-top.
The figurine constitutes a precursor of the kouroi made of stone, like those displayed in the museum and identified with Kleobis and Biton or with the Dioscuroi. The daedalic art declined with the development of Archaic sculpture and its local schools. 

Text: Dr. Athanasios Sideris, Archaeologist
Translation: Dr. Aphrodite Kamara, Historian