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The Scythian Knife Grinder

Artist: Unknown Greek Artist Primary
Date: ca. 200 BCE - 150 BCE
2nd century BCE
Dimensions: 20.5 x 44 x 47 in. (52.07 x 111.76 x 119.38 cm)
Object Type: Statue
Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Lazio
Medium and Support: Plaster Cast
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Number: L1991.25b
This work is not currently on view

This cast is taken from a marble sculpture now on view in the Uffizi Gallery. The original work, itself a second century copy from a group of statues from the Pergamene school was thought to be a depiction of either a Scythian -- based on his attire-- or a barber sharpening a knife. It has also been suggested that this group depicting the flaying of Marsyas, with this particular piece showing a slave preparing the blade that would be used.

You can see images of the original work on the Uffizi Gallery's website here .


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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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