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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Olympia Boxer

This lifesize bronze is an example of the realism found in many early Hellenistic portraits.

We can assume he is victorious for he wears the winner’s laurel wreath, but it is clear he has been in quite a fight. His aging face is fleshy and rough; his mouth is slightly open as if breathing hard; and his hair is dishevelled.

The portrait would have almost certainly been part of a statue, but when excavated at Olympia — home of the pan-Hellenic festival of religion and sport — only the head was found

Location of Original: 

Athens, National Museum 6439


Purchased 26 November 1881 by the Fitzwilliam Museum from Brucciani. Transferred to the Museum in 1884


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 233 (n.1), pl. 77.4
Schmidt: Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts XLIX (1934), 193, figs.4-5
Papaspiridi: Guide du Musée Nationale d’Athènes (1927), 194-
Staïs: Marbres et Bronzes du Musée Nationale d’Athènes, 299
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 87, no.463
Stewart: Greek Sculpture, 180
Richter: The Portraits of the Greeks, 45, & pl.11


Excavated in 1880 in the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia

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