“The Boxer at Rest” 330-50 BC

The article is a little hammy, but awesome statue

 

Sculpture of Ancient Greek Boxer Still Haunts Viewers Today

By

 Patricia Claus

 -

Jul 21, 2020

 

Ancient Greek sculptural masterpiece “The Boxer at Rest,” dated from 330-50 BC. National Museum of Rome/ Palazzo Massimo alla Terme

The beloved ancient Greek sculpture called “The Boxer at Rest,” from 330-50 BC, one of the most realistic of all ancient Greek sculptures, is one of the most touching and emotive works of art from that period, reminding us that the pain and difficulties of human life are universal and beyond the bounds of time.

Created in an era when Hellenistic sculptors had gone beyond stylized, formal shapes and begun to portray humans with complete realism, the masterpiece is so lifelike that its viewers almost expect to see the man begin to move and speak. It is difficult to believe how an ancient work of art could so encapsulate the realistic portrayal of ordinary people that only became the norm in modern times.

Unearthed in the gardens of Rome’s Quirinale Palace in 1885, it had been carefully buried centuries earlier — perhaps by people who did not want their beloved Boxer to become a victim of those who in Christian times were known to melt down pagan bronze sculptures.

The Boxer at Rest. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome.

 

In nearly perfect condition after almost twenty centuries, the sculpture is a flawless portrayal of the pain and suffering of ancient Greek boxers, while portraying the great dignity of a man who has fought for decades and yet still seems to be looking toward the viewer asking, “Must I fight again? Haven’t I done enough?”

The boxer is shown wearing the leather hand wrappings, or caestus, that pugilists from those times always wore in fights. These would serve as the only protection for boxers, who, like all other athletes, would compete in the nude.

The completely realistic sculpture even clearly portrays the caestus, or leather wrappings that fighters used in ancient times. Palazzo Massimo alla Terme, Rome.

 

It is possible that the Boxer had once graced the grounds of the Baths of Constantine. After the Goths invaded Rome, they destroyed the aqueducts that had led to the great city, leaving the Baths dry and leading to the decay of the entire area.

Like the statue of St. Peter at the Vatican, the fingers and toes of the Boxer had been worn down from many years of rubbing by those who visited the statue — leading experts to believe that the Boxer came to have magical or talismanic powers. This may have been why the sculpture had been buried so very carefully in later times.

As viewers have noticed over the centuries, the athlete’s broken, flattened nose, cauliflower ears and mien of complete exhaustion evoke a feeling of weariness, and perhaps even desperation, at the end of the man’s career.

Perhaps the artist wanted to portray the apprehension of an athlete at the end of his glory days, facing what he thinks may be oblivion after decades of fame and adulation, looking with dread into an uncertain future.

The Boxer’s mouth and facial scars were actually inlaid with copper by the original artist, and other pieces of copper were inlaid on his shoulder, arm and thigh were meant to  represent drops of blood, leading to an even more complete realism than we view today in the form.

Italian archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani, officiated at the unearthing of the magnificent sculpture, later recorded his impressions of the monumental discovery at the Quirinale Palace.

“I have witnessed, in my long career in the active field of archaeology, many discoveries; I have experienced surprise after surprise; I have sometimes and most unexpectedly met with real masterpieces; but I have never felt such an extraordinary impression as the one created by the sight of this magnificent specimen of a semi-barbaric athlete, coming slowly out of the ground, as if awakening from a long repose after his gallant fights.”

Originally cast in eight pieces through the lost-wax process, later painstakingly soldered together, the bronze masterpiece was carefully conserved by art conservationist Nikolaus Himmelmann in 1989 before it went on display in Bonn, Germany.

 

 

Sculpture of Ancient Greek Boxer Still Haunts Viewers Today

 

 

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Saw it in person when it was on loan to the Met in NYC a few years ago. It's an awesome sculpture. The cauliflower ears and copper-inlaid cuts are a nice touch.

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Antifa would rip that thing down so fast....

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I always thought it looked like he should be sitting next to a roll of toilet paper. 

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white supremacy?

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jcblass -

Antifa would rip that thing down so fast....

He probably used the n-word on a regular basis! 

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Diagoras descended from Damagetus, king of Ialysus, and, on the mother's side, from the Messenian hero, Aristomenes. Diagoras was victor in boxing twice in the Olympic games, four times in the Isthmian, twice in the Nemean, and once at least in the Pythian Games. The fame of Diagoras and his descendants was celebrated by Pindar (Olympian Odes VII). A local soccer club, Diagoras F.C., and the Rhodes International Airport, "Diagoras" are named after him.

His three sons were Olympic champions. The oldest son, Damagetos, won the pankration in 452 and 448 BC. Akousílaos, the second son, won the boxing in 448 BC. The two celebrated their victory by carrying their father around the stadion on their shoulders, cheered loudly by the spectators. This was considered the peak of happiness that a human being could experience, achieving great glory and yet having this glory matched or even surpassed by one's own children. Legend has it that during Diagoras' triumphant ovation on the shoulders of his sons, a spectator shouted: "Die, Diagoras; you will not ascend to Olympus besides", the meaning being that he has reached the highest honor possible for a man. Indeed Diagoras died on the spot, and has since been considered the happiest mortal that ever lived.

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Tomato Can - Saw it in person when it was on loan to the Met in NYC a few years ago. It's an awesome sculpture. The cauliflower ears and copper-inlaid cuts are a nice touch.

Were you the guy that had a thread with pics as well?

jcblass -

Antifa would rip that thing down so fast....

It would seem to me that people who rip down statues are no better than people who burn books.


 


SpartaKick -

Diagoras descended from Damagetus, king of Ialysus, and, on the mother's side, from the Messenian hero, Aristomenes. Diagoras was victor in boxing twice in the Olympic games, four times in the Isthmian, twice in the Nemean, and once at least in the Pythian Games. The fame of Diagoras and his descendants was celebrated by Pindar (Olympian Odes VII). A local soccer club, Diagoras F.C., and the Rhodes International Airport, "Diagoras" are named after him.


His three sons were Olympic champions. The oldest son, Damagetos, won the pankration in 452 and 448 BC. Akousílaos, the second son, won the boxing in 448 BC. The two celebrated their victory by carrying their father around the stadion on their shoulders, cheered loudly by the spectators. This was considered the peak of happiness that a human being could experience, achieving great glory and yet having this glory matched or even surpassed by one's own children. Legend has it that during Diagoras' triumphant ovation on the shoulders of his sons, a spectator shouted: "Die, Diagoras; you will not ascend to Olympus besides", the meaning being that he has reached the highest honor possible for a man. Indeed Diagoras died on the spot, and has since been considered the happiest mortal that ever lived.

badass

Looks like he’s just listening to corner instructions.  Maybe they’re reading into it too much.

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"Get him a bodybag! Yeaaah!"

WendyIDMT -

Looks like he’s just listening to corner instructions.  Maybe they’re reading into it too much.

No rounds in ancient boxing IIRC

Looks like he has Drysdale in the corner 

Good stuff

Look at that hair... ancient Greeks were really black.

He looks like a lightweight , maybe between 140-160 lbs , I’ve never had any fighting experience , but I’m pretty sure I could’ve tossed him and pounded him ...they probably didn’t know any Jiu Jitsu , I could’ve taken him down and maybe choked him out like ufc fighters do 

Is that Alessio Sakara ??

 

nice beard btw

This thread has taught me I want all my combat sports done in the nude from now on.

 

Dana, make it happen.

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