The Boxer

The Boxer
The Boxer

Some of the most emblematic sculptures of Greek art are inspired by the athletes who participated in the Olympic Games. The famous Discobolus or the Doryphorus are examples known to all, which present us with a javelin thrower in an attitude of rest.


The Boxer

This Fighter is also resting, since these types of fighters also participated in the games. In fact there used to be a very complete calendar of sports in the holidays in honor of Olympic Zeus that gave rise to the current Olympics.

The first day of this event that took place in the city of Olimpia was dedicated solely to the reception of the delegations. And the competition began on the second day with the youngest participants. The third day was the turn of chariot and horse races and the pentathlon made up of various disciplines such as long jump, discus throw or wrestling. And on the fourth day athletics was celebrated as the Greeks conceived it, since there were running or jumping events, but boxing was also included, in which a boxer like the one we see in this bronze work that today It is preserved in the National Roman Museum.

And the fact is that the sculpture was found in the Baths of Constantine, which is why it is also known as The Boxer of the Baths.

The work is of enormous quality,especially for the tremendous realism of the representation. We see him sitting, rested and almost exhausted. Just finished a match. He turns and raises his head, he does so to show us a face full of scars and wounds, some recent and others the result of his long career as a fighter, as he has a broken and crooked nose, or a cut on his ear.

Curiously, the body cannot be seen, only a muscular torso, arms and legs are injured, as it cannot be otherwise in an athlete of this type. Leather strips can be seen on his hands and forearms, which are the antecedents of the gloves we know today. By the way, these fighters practiced various disciplines comparable to what we know today as boxing, wrestling or obviously also what is currently called Greco-Roman wrestling.

The sculpture is of enormous quality, and curiously there are notes of color that enhance its realism. Unfortunately his eyes were embedded and have disappeared, which would give him more expressiveness. But at least there are red copper inlays between the fingers, and even on the face, which is quickly identified with blood. It is undoubtedly a wonderful example of the quality, veracity and ornateness that Greek sculptural art reached from the fourth century BC.

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