The Terme Boxer

Now at the National Museum of Rome, the Terme Boxer – also known as the Boxer of Quirinal, because it was found in 1885 at the foot of that Roman hill – is a Hellenistic bronze sculpture dating back to the 4th century BC, and attributed to either Lysippos or one of his pupils.

The man portrayed is sitting down, resting his muscular body after a match. On his hands he is still wearing the leather hand-wraps with metal studs he has used to fight. His right shoulder, forearm, gloves and thigh are inlaid with copper, representing drops of blood from the fight.

His stillness is contrasted by the sudden jerk of the head, turning perhaps to seize his “kairos”, the fleeting moment of ancient rhetoric, the passing fortune that cannot be stopped.

He has but a wisp of peace, a short moment for a fighting man.

December 14, 2013

The Terme Boxer

Museo Nazionale Romano, Viale Enrico de Nicola, 79
+ 39 06 39967700