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The Historic Plaster Cast Collection

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A plaster cast of a youth from the knees up. He looks towards his right and arm which starts to stretch outward but is largely missin

Open Access

Victorious Athlete (Westmacott Boy)

Statue of Youth Crowning Himself
Artist: Unknown Greek Artist Primary
Date: ca. 450 BCE - 420 BCE
5th century BCE
Dimensions: 43.5 x 21 x 5 in. (110.49 x 53.34 x 12.7 cm)
Object Type: Plaster Cast
Creation Place: Europe, Greece
Medium and Support: Plaster Cast after marble original Museo Barrocco, Rome
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Number: L1991.12
This work is not currently on view

The original sculpture of a young boy would have had his right arm raised to crown himself with a wreath, symbolizing his victory in an athletic competition. The Roman marble copy was once owned by the British sculptor Richard Westmacott, who created the pedimental sculpture decorating the edifice of the British Museum, and has led to the work's contemporary nickname "The Westmacott Boy."

In the photos below, you can see the work featured as part of an installation created by Emily Giovannone'22 for her exhibition "A Conversation with Antiquity & Jeff Koons." © Emily Giovannone, 2022.


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High Classical
Refers to the middle phase of the Greek Classical period and style, from around 450 BCE to around 400 BCE. In sculpture it is characterized by the complete mastery of the ideal human form, represented in balanced, subtle movement and with drapery that clings to the body to reveal the form beneath. In vase painting, it is characterized by an increased refinement and variety of human forms and facial expressions. In architecture it is characterized by a lightening of proportions and a refinement of earlier established orders.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Ancient Greek
Refers to the culture and styles of ancient Greece, generally excluding modern and prehistoric periods, but including periods between around 900 BCE to around 31 BCE. For the culture of Greece in general, including modern Greece, see "Greek."
Three-dimensional works of art in which images and forms are produced in relief, in intaglio, or in the round. The term refers particularly to art works created by carving or engraving a hard material, by molding or casting a malleable material (which usually then hardens), or by assembling parts to create a three-dimensional object. It is typically used to refer to large or medium-sized objects made of stone, wood, bronze, or another metal. Small objects are typically referred to as "carvings" or another appropriate term. "Sculpture" refers to works that represent tangible beings, objects, or groups of objects, or are abstract works that have defined edges and boundaries and can be measured. As three-dimensional works become more diffused in space or time, or less tangible, use appropriate specific terms, such as "mail art" or "environmental art."

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