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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Praying Boy

Young male nude bronze.

The arms are modern restorations, but his upward gaze and twisting shoulders clearly point to the fact that they were raised. But is he praying? In his Natural History, Pliny wrote that Boidas, one of the sons of Lysippos, made a statue in bronze of a boy praying. But there is no real evidence to tie this piece with Pliny’s description.

He is probably an athlete, who either prays to the gods, thanks them for his good fortune, or ties a winning head-band or fillet around his head. He may also, however, have originally supported something in his outstretched hands

Number: 
342
Material: 
Bronze
Location of Original: 

Berlin, 2

Size: 
1.28m
Accession: 

Purchased in 1884 from the Louvre

References: 

Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 296 (n.8), pl. 105.2
Richter: Sculpture & Sculptors of the Greeks (1950), fig.54
Bulle: Der Schöne Mensch im Altertum (1922), 41-, pl. 64
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 82, no.385
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 894, no.378
Bieber, M: Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age (1981), 39

Date: 
Early Hellenistic
Provenance: 

Already in Venice in 1503 and said to have been discovered in Rhodes

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