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"Boxer at Rest" | Grand Tour, after Antiquity

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Italian, late 19th century

Boxer at Rest (Boxer of the Quirinal)

Medium-brown and verdigris patinated bronze | unsigned, cast late 19th century | foundry marking for Fonderie Nelli, Roma verso

Item # 301UGP19A 

A rather uncommon sculpture to find on the open market, this 19th century copy from the Grand Tour era captures the famous "Boxer at Rest" of the Hellenistic period. It is a faithful and quite large example. The statue was discovered in 1885 near the ancient Baths of Constantine at Quirinal Hill of Rome and remains widely considered one of the finest and most exciting bronze sculptures to have survived from antiquity. The fighter bears some resemblance to Heracles, the mythological strong man of antiquity. His hands are bound in a Greek-type of boxing glove with strips of tied ox-hide attached to a ring that surrounds the knuckles while being lightly padded with wool. His face is battered and deep scars are evident on his cheeks, his forehead, a cut on his arm and his ear is swollen.

Cast by the Nelli foundry in Rome, it features a nuanced medium-brown with red-oxide patination with a wonderful all-over verdigris oxidization that has been sealed under wax. The result is a quite complex and almost painterly patinated surface that highlights the antiquity of the image as well as the lively texture of the surface.

A large, imposing and riveting image.

Measurements: 23 1/2" H x 19" W x 10 3/4" D

Condition Report:
Original surface patina preserved under a wax layer. Surface pitting, though probably allowed with some intention to capture the essence of "antiquity" - some bits of plaster still retained in these recesses from the casting process - overall rougher casting, likely intentional. Patina wear to left of boxer's nostril. A very nice presentation.