The Croatian Apoxyomenos is a bronze statue dating back to the 2nd century BC. It is considered one of the few great works of ancient bronze that has ever been fully recovered.
Close to 2 meters high( 1.92m), with red cupper inserted for the lips and tits, this statue is an 'apoxyomenos', which in old greek means an athlete, busy cleaning his body with a 'strigile', a metallic scraper, in order to remove the mixture of oïl and sand and sweat that sticks to his skin. Athletes of Antiquity exercising naked and outdoor coated their body of an oïl, which, during the athletic exercises, mixed with the sand of the palaestra.
The moment chosen by the artist is the one that occurred after the exercise : the head of the athlete down to the hands betrays a specific gesture. This subtle composition allows the observer to enter within the privacy of a gyum scene, and allows us to understand how the ancient sculptors were keen observers of male nudity.
|picture Marie Lan Nguyen|
From research undertaken so far it is presumed that the statue was part of a Roman cargo ship, which sailed to large northern cities, uch as Aquileia, Ravenna or Pula, or to a refine place outside cities, such as a luxury villa on the island of Veli Brijuni in the bay Verige.
Videos of this discovery can be seen here and here. The Louvre Museum ceremony, with both French and English parts, explaining this discovery and the larger context, is to be seen here.