A Greek marble naked lower torso of a falling warrior
Lot 126
A Greek marble naked lower torso of a falling warrior
Sold for £66,000 (US$ 110,934) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A Greek marble naked lower torso of a falling warrior
Circa 420-410 B.C.
Carved from fine Pentelic marble, his right thigh extended, his left leg bent at the knee, his stomach with taut musculature around his hips and sides as if tensing whilst in motion, his thigh and calf muscles gently defined, set against a marble back as if from an architectural relief complex, a square recess in the thigh for the attachment of a strut, 28in (71cm) long, worn and damaged


  • Provenance:
    Formerly part of an Austrian private collection for over 200 years.

    Studied for six months at the Antiken museum, Basel, this piece has been dated it to the last decades of the 5th Century B.C. It is therefore contemporary with the sculptural programme of the Erechtheion and the Temple of Nike on the Athenian Acropolis and the Temple of Apollo at Bassai.

    Looking at the muscles of the stomach, the sculpture can be realised as a warrior falling to the left. For an example of a falling warrior in a similar pose, see the grave stele of Dexileos, circa 394 B.C., cf. G.M. Richter, The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, (Yale 1970), fig. 225. It is possible that this torso came from such a monument although scenes of dying warriors are relatively uncommon in late 5th Century funerary sculpture. Battle scenes were more frequently used in public monumental sculpture, particularly on temples. Sculpture depicting battles between Lapiths and Centaurs, Amazons and Greeks and Greeks and Trojans were deployed on temples all over Greece including the Parthenon and it is far more likely that the torso came from a similar such edifice.

    Moreover, the dimensions of the piece and the depth of its relief also suggests that it was created as a piece of architectural sculpture, possibly from a pediment. The marble background against which the piece is carved could also indicate that perhaps it came from a metope. The subject of a falling warrior can be compared with the metopes from the Parthenon. Cf. R. Osborne, Archaic and Classical Greek Art, (Oxford 1998), pp. 178-179, figs. 105-107.