085. Boxer - Archaic

085. Boxer - Archaic

H: 15.4 cm
Provenance: no indication; Olympia?
c. 675 B.C.

Ex collection:
Vladimir. G. Simkhovitch

Solid-cast by the lost wax process.

Condition: front of plaque broken. The ancient hole for attachment enlarged for modern mounting.

Patina: after manual cleaning, the surface shows up
green, mottled with lighter green specks and smooth red cuprite deposits.

This figure, full of vitality, with haughty expression and tense body, probably represents a boxer standing with clenched fists.

The rhomboid-shaped plaque under his feet is unevenly broken in front; could this mean it was once a long strip with a second figure facing him?

There is an original hole in the plaque which would have served in antiquity for attaching the figure or group to a tripod or vessel (probably a cauldron).

Certain characteristics and the attempt to be naturalistic clearly place the boxer in the transitional phase between Late Geometric and Early Archaic.

His poise and some plastic similarities to an earlier tradition, exemplified by a seated figure from the Alpheios Valley [1], lead us to ascribe him to a Peloponnesian workshop which, together with the patination, points to Olympia.

On view: Musée d' Art et d'Histoire, Geneva: 1967-1968
Musée Olympique, Lausanne: 1994-1995

Exhibited and Published:
Meisterwerke griechischer Kunst, cat. no. II 85, pp. 136, 139 ill.
Hommes et Dieux, cat. no. 127, pp. 207-208 ill.
Gods and Mortals, cat. no. 54, p. 81 ill.
Le sport dans la Grèce Antique, cat. no. 230 p. 361 ill.

1 Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery 54.789: Kent Hill, D.: Catalogue of Classical Bronze Sculpture in the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, 1949), no. 167, p. 77 pl. 36.