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330 BC


Original stood outside Baths of Agrippa in Rome.

Copy in the Vatican Museum.




Lysippus of Sikyon


Roman marble copy of Greek bronze original.

Subject Matter

Athlete scraping oil and dirt off himself after exercise 0 not a specific athlete or prize winner but a “character study” of an ordinary athlete.


Natural, tousled hair which is thicker than on the Praxiteles statues.

Fourth century BC deep set eyes and dreamy expression.

Full lips, pouting and slightly parted.

Natural chest muscles, not over developed.

Harsh inguinal ridge.

Pattern and Proportion

Proportions have changed since Polykleitos, we now have a rejection of the Canon and the “square stockiness”.

Head to body ratio 1:8 – more slender and longer limbs.

Pose and Realism

Relaxed pose with the tilted hip and weight on the left leg.

Seems as if he is about to shift weight to right leg, implying restlessness.

3D composition with the right arm thrust out in front of the viewer.

Uses space in front of the statue.

From the front, the view is very foreshortened and this forces the viewer to walk all the way around the statue which offers interesting views from different angles.

This is a complete break of quadrifacial frontality.

Left arm cuts horizontally across the chest, breaking the figure and preventing an uninterrupted frontal view.


Nude which is appropriate. The fig leaf is an addition from the Vatican.


Slightly unglamorous, weary?

Trend of showing ordinary people in Hellenistic art.