Wrestlers, after an archaeological model, 18th century

Spotted alabaster
46 x 50 x 24 cm

This sculpture is a replica of the archaeological group called "Wrestlers", currently preserved in the Uffizi Museum (Florence). In 1583 it was excavated in a vineyard of the Tommasini family, in Rome, and purchased by Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici. It remained in Villa Medici, still in Rome, until 1677, when it was transported to Florence definitively.

It is a Roman copy of a bronze original by Lysippos. The group represents two wrestlers entwined and was found, like most of the unearthed sculptures, with the heads and right arm of the wrestler above mutilated. Furthermore, the marble was stained and had various cracks. The missing pieces were commissioned and the restoration was completed at different times, some in Rome and some in Florence.

This piece, one of a kind, stimulated the imagination of many sculptures in all the periods following its discovery. Especially in the neoclassical period copies of this subject were highly appreciated.

The group in question is made with an ancient spotted breccia stone with reddish tones, probably a rare quality of alabaster. Given the subject, it seems to be chosen to imitate the bruises of the wrestlers. The breaks do not seem to be due to an accidental fall but, if compared with the original sculpture in the Uffizi, they seem to repeat the state of conservation of the archaeological work. Stains, breaks and valuable material give the group a truly ancient appearance, almost like an excavated piece.

€ 4.000,00 / 6.000,00
€ 2.200,00
Starting price
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Sculpture and Small Bronzes from 15th to 19th Century

Palazzo Caetani Lovatelli, fri 28 June 2024
SINGLE SESSION 28/06/2024 Hours 16:00