Apoxyomenos („Scraper”) is one of the conventional subjects of ancient Greek votive sculpture; it depicts an athlete caught in the familiar activity of scraping sweat and dust from his body with a small, curved tool that the Romans called a strygilos.
The most famous sculpture of Apoxyomenos in classical antiquity was by the famous Lysippus of Sikion, court sculptor to Alexander the Great, made in bronze around 330 BC. Unfortunately, the original has not survived. The sculpture is known from a marble copy housed in the Museo Pio-Clementino in the Vatican, found in 1849 in the Zatibe.
The founding of the Szczecin antique collection was initiated by Heinrich Dohrn (1838-1913), an entrepreneur, prominent naturalist and art lover. In line with the trends prevailing in Germany at the turn of the 20th century, it was intended to showcase the enduring values of European culture. The exhibition thus conceived included an excellent collection of vases and fine art, as well as a collection of reconstructions of the most famous ancient sculptures, originally made of bronze but known only from marble copies, mass-produced much later in Roman times. Aware that he was only an amateur with noble intentions, Dohrn invited the most eminent archaeologist of his time, Adolf Furtwängler, and his students, including Paul Wolters and Johannes Sieveking, to join him. As a result, a magnificent exhibition of ancient art was created in Szczecin in a short period of time.
The Szczecin reconstruction, made using the traditional bronze casting technique used in antiquity, perfectly captures the colours and textures of ancient Greek sculpture.