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Lysippos Apoxyomenos : Black Basalt Statue : ‘The Scraper’ Torso


An exceptional and well studied large-scale carving of a torso in black basalt after the Roman antique. Depicted life-sized, standing in contrapposto with his weight on his left leg, the right slightly advanced, the left arm projecting forward, the figure with softly-modeled musculature.

Black basalt is a very fine-grained igneous rock and is rarely used in sculpture due to its incredible hardness – harder than granite.

Torso Dimensions
Height 100cm
Width / Depth 45cm

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The sculpture is commonly represented by the Pentelic marble copy in the Museo Pio-Clementino in Rome, discovered in 1849 when it was excavated in Trastevere (illustration, right). Plaster casts of it soon found their way into national academy collections, and it is the standard version in textbooks. The sculpture, slightly larger than lifesize, is characteristic of the new canon of proportion pioneered by Lysippos, with a slightly smaller head (1:8 of the total height, rather than the 1:7 of Polykleitos) and longer and thinner limbs.

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