The Boxer at Rest
One of the great masterpieces of Hellenistic sculpture is making a brief visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Made sometime between the late fourth and the second century B.C., this life-size bronze depicts a battered and weary athlete resting after a fight. The work is astonishing both for the gripping realism of the anatomy and the touching pathos of the expression. When Nietzsche wrote of the ancient Greeks’ love of sculptures of “fighters wounded and writhing in pain” he had a statue such as this in mind. Whether victorious or vanquished, the Boxer at Rest is a haunting figure from a world without mercy.
The Boxer at Rest is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through July 18. For more information, please visit metmuseum.org.
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