The Getty kouros (pictured left) is a statue that was presented for sale to the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1983 by Swiss art dealer Gianfranco Becchina. Somewhat lacking in provenance, the museum originally analyzed the kouros's authenticity through a series of scientific and legal tests lasting fourteen months. They deemed the piece to be genuine and purchased it in 1984. Yet even after all of these tests, some scholars in the field of classical art history have questioned the statue's origins. More recently, new evidence has emerged that undermines the kouros's original tests of authenticity, again sparking debate about whether or not it is an ancient piece or the work of a skilled modern forger. While the Getty kouros seems to follow the typical pattern of other Archaic kouroi, there are certain details of the statue that raise concern for experts.
This project will present these questionable details while comparing the Getty kouros with other established ancient kouroi in order to demonstrate their similarities and differences. Furthermore, it will present and examine significant evidence in the case of the Getty kouros's authenticity including information about the scientific tests conducted, the style of the piece, the methods used to carve it, its materials, and its provenance. This website was developed by Kaitlyn Garvin for the 2015 Digital Art History class at the University of Oregon. As such, the second purpose of the website is to create a repository of digital information about the Getty kouros and other kouroi relevant to its case.