Bronze statue of the Boxer at Rest

My ARCHAEO-Crush for the month of May is a fabulous Greek bronze found in a museum in Rome.

An original Greek bronze sculpture of a boxer at rest.

An original Greek bronze sculpture of a boxer at rest.

THE BOXER AT REST
Type: artefact (bronze statue, lost-wax process)
Civilisation: Ancient Greece
Date: Between the 4th and 2nd century BCE (Hellenistic period)
ARCHAEO-Crush: Greek bronzes are rare not only because bronze was expensive, but also because it could be melted down and reused. However, the examples that survived the millennia–like the Boxer at Rest–show an exceptional mastery of technique and breath-taking details.  The boxer was found in 1885 on the Quirinal, near the baths of Constantine. It is a Hellenistic masterpiece representing a professional athlete.  My photo does not do justice to this remarkable work of art.   The pugilist is resting after receiving quite a beating: he has broken nose, cauliflower ears and he might have lost some teeth.  His face is scarred and bruised, and has bleeding cuts. What is quite amazing is the fact that artist has used red copper inlays to indicate the bloody cuts and there are even a few drops and trickles of blood shown on his right  shoulder, forearm, caestus (leather glove) and thigh, as if they have fallen there after he moved his head! You will find an interesting video about the Boxer at Rest on the site of  Khan Academy.
Bucket list status: I saw this astounding bronze statue during the summer of 2014 while in Rome. It was not on my bucket list because I was not aware of this statue (I came upon it quite by chance), but it is now one of my favourites at the Palazzo Massimo.
Additional info:
The work is on view at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (one of the branches of the Museo nazionale romano) and its inventory number is 1055. Should you be in Rome, I would highly recommend visiting the museum just to see this work.  The Palazzo Massimo is not far from Termini station, you can walk there.

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One thought on “Bronze statue of the Boxer at Rest

  1. Amazing! I had no idea bronze was used then either. Noticing the brass knuckles on his hands, I’m surprised he had so few injuries or even survived.

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