This comparison between Menkaure and his Queen of Old Kingdom Egypt and Kouros of Anavysos of the Archaic Greek period really showcases the differences between stylized or conventionalized style verses the more realistic approach of Ancient Greece

This comparison between Menkaure and his Queen of Old Kingdom Egypt and Kouros of Anavysos of the Archaic Greek period really showcases the differences between stylized or conventionalized style verses the more realistic approach of Ancient Greece. At this time in Ancient Egypt (2500 BCE), it was only god-like pharaohs and their wives who were worthy enough to be created into a sculptural form. In Greece (6th c. BCE at this time) on the other hand, anyone wealthy enough could get sculptures made for their sons. Therefore, there tends to be significantly more Greek sculptures of the young male body than of Egyptian pharaohs.
The first obvious similarity between these two figures is the form and posture that they take on. In both pieces, the forms are very stiff with one leg in front of the other alluding to a walking motion and both arms straight down with their hands clenched in a fist. More specifically, it is both the left feet being placed in front of the right as well as no bend at the knee, hips, or waist. This Greek sculpture is early enough to be convincing that this frontal pose and form is highly influenced by the original Egyptian style. It is only the beginning, however, of how Greece took these conventionalized styles originated in Ancient Egypt of cutting stone and gradually transformed them, using their own techniques, into complete realism.
Along with all of these incredible similarities, there are also many differences that really exemplify the characteristics of both of these cultures during these time periods. Unlike the Menkaure and his Queen, the artist of Kouros of Anavysos cut away all of the stone around the body to create a freer standing figure which makes it seem more lifelike. In typical Egyptian fashion, Menkaure is nude just to the waist, wearing a royal kilt and a head cloth. However, Kouros is completely in the nude. It is clear to the viewer that Kouros is a more realistic form than Menkaure. One important difference in the two that makes Kouros more lifelike is his face. Unlike Menkaure, Kouros’ cheek bones are more defined and has more dimension, especially in the eye sockets. His eyes are open and have detailed pupils. Menkaure has a very straight face with no expression. Kouros has a subtle hint of a smile which gives it a human like quality of being alive. Menkaure is also very narrow at the hips and thighs, whereas Kouros is broader with a more realistic hip structure.
All of these different techniques and style choices of these two pieces derive from the cultures of Egypt and Greece during these times and their values. In Old Kingdom Egypt, these smooth sculptures were made for the Pharaohs and served as a divine representation of these Kings and also served to preserve these representations in their afterlife to be worshipped at the grave. In comparison, even though there were many Greek Kouros sculptures created, they were not specific to one individual. Instead, they served as an ideal image for young boys and something to strive for. Part of this ideal image was the smaller genital region because in their culture, it showed self-control and that you could resist the sexual urges. That could be a reason for Kouros being fully nude as well as why these parts are represented smaller than probably imagined. In both cases, these statues could serve as grave markers and were both “idealistic” representing what a body should look like.