Athlete with a scraper (Apoxyomenos)

Roman
Imperial Period
about A.D. 110–135


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 155; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height (with plinth): 71.5 cm (28 1/8 in.)

Accession Number

00.304

Medium or Technique

Marble from Göktepe , Turkey (near Aphrodisias)

On View

Greek & Roman Sculpture Gallery (Gallery 211)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The figure stands with his left leg bearing the weight of his body as his bent right leg is advanced forward slightly. He looks down towards his outstretched left hand, which grasps a cloth and part of the strigil (scraper) between his thumb and index finger.

Condition: Found in nine pieces, the statue was reassembled without any added restorations. Missing is a junction of the neck and shoulder, the middle portion of the curved blade of the strigil, and the lower right arm. A break runs across the upper right arm at the elbow. A vertical mark, possibly a plough mark, is visible on the back of the head. Light yellow patina.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8462: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.8 / delta18O -2.4,

Attribution - Göktepe 3-4, Turkey (near Aphrodisias). Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, pure white.


This athlete uses a cloth to clean the strigil (scraper) he once held in his missing right hand. A strigil is a curved metal tool that Greek and Roman athletes used to scrape dirt, sweat, and oil from their bodies. In showing the athlete tidying his strigil rather than scraping, this sculpture differs from a more widely known version of the subject. It is unclear which type more faithfully reproduces a celebrated bronze statue by the fourth-century-B.C. Greek sculptor Lysippos.

Provenance

By 1900: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: found at Frascati) [according to Caskey, Catalogue, no. 76: found in 1896 below Villa Mondragone, at Frascati]; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, February 1900

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund