SUPERB ITALIAN BRONZE SCULPTURE Circa 1860
An Exceptionally Fine Quality Dark Patinated Italian Bronze Sculpture Example of The Wrestlers of impressive proportions, third quarter of the Nineteenth Century.
Condition: Good untouched condition, superb surface patination.
Height: (entire as shown) 15.5” (39.5cm). Depth: (at base) 11.75” (30cm). Width: 18” (46cm).
The Wrestlers also known as The Two Wrestlers, The Uffizi Wrestlers or The Pancrastinae is a famous Roman marble sculpture after a lost Greek original of the third century BCE. Discovered in 1583 near Porta S. Giovanni, Rome and the purchased by the Medici Family and is now exhibited at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
The two young male nude men are engaged in the sport called Pankration, a kind of wrestling similar to the present-day sport of "Mixed Martial Arts". The two figures are wrestling in a position now known as a "cross-body ride" in modern freestyle wrestling. The upper wrestler has his left leg entwined with his opponent's left leg, with his body across the opponent's body, lifting the opponent's right arm. In a well known modern series of wrestling moves, the upper wrestler would now try to lift his opponent's arm above his head to force a pinning move called the "Guillotine." Their muscular structure is very defined and exaggerated due to their physical and sustained effort.
The group are considered to be finest quality Roman copies of a lost bronze. The sculpture has previously been variously attributed to Myron, Cephisodotus the Younger or Heliodorus- the last two are mentioned by Pliny as creators of a sculptural format called symplegmata, signifying sculptures of figures closed in struggle, whether purely physical or amatory. Currently the sculpture is considered to be the best quality Roman copy from a lost original Hellenistic bronze of the third century BCE, either of the Pergamene School or the circle of Lysippus.