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Lifesize carved marble Sculpture, 'The Wrestlers'


This exceptional 19th century Italian white marble group titled: 'The Wrestlers' was carved after a Greek original of the III century BCE.
This impressive statue depicts two naked men struggling. One of them overwhelms the other, holds his right arm and is about to hit him. The athlete on the floor tries to lift himself.
The two young men are engaged in the Pankration, one of the most popular and hard fighting styles of the ancient Rome. The group is raised on a contemporary solid white marble base.

Inscribed: A. Frilli, Florence

Circa 1880

Dimensions (including base):
Height: 72" (183 cm)
Width: 52"  (132 cm)
Depth: 32"  (80 cm)

Another example of this group is in the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City. 

Antonio Frilli was an Italian artist of superb skill, he belonged to a tradition of distinguished Italian carvers that included Pietro Bazzanti, Cesare Lapini and Cesare Fantacchiotti. His successful workshop in Florence produced sculptures in marble and alabaster, concentrating on elegant compositions and decorative works for the international market, which provided Frillis main clientele. The sculptor and his studio also produced copies after both antique and contemporary sculpture, such as the Venus de Medici and Antonio Canova’s Three Graces. Frilli is first recorded as exhibiting at the Esposizione Nationalecdi Roma in 1883, after which he showed in Glasgow (1888) and Paris (1889).