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Marathon Boy


350-330 BC


Found in the sea off the coast of Marathon (Attica).




Praxiteles/School of Praxiteles


Greek bronze original

Subject Matter

Dependant on missing object in left hand.

Hermes holding a tortoise shell, stringing the first lyre?

Ganymede, cupbearer to the gods, pouring wine?


Tousled, ruffled hair with headband that has a tongue at the front,

Fourth century BC deep set eyes and dreamy expression.

Eyes are inlaid in glass and limestone.

Pouting lips, slightly parted.

Lean, young body, with soft musculature.

No heavy inguinal ridge.

Body is appropriate for age – an adolescent boy.

Pattern and Proportion

Hair is the only source of pattern.

Head to body ratio 1:7 ½ (Praxitelean proportions).

Pose and Realism

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

Contrapposto – accentuated by outstretched right arm.

A sinuous, sensual S bend in the body. Praxiteles trademark.

Uses Polykleitos’ trailing leg technique.

Left arm bent at elbow with an outstretched palm. His gaze is focused on the object in his left hand and he is concentrating on it.


Nude apart from the tongued ribbon around his head.


Thoughtful; concentrating on the task at hand.