The Falling Gladiator
- William Rimmer (American (born England), Liverpool 1816–1879 South Milford, Massachusetts)
- 1861; cast 1907
- 63 x 41 x 38 1/8 in. (160 x 104.1 x 96.8 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Rogers Fund, 1907
- Accession Number:
The Boston-based Rimmer was a practicing physician with a superb command of anatomy. He turned to sculpture in the late 1850s, eventually abandoning his medical practice to head a successful art school. In this work, Rimmer conveys the wounded warrior’s physical stress by accentuating his rippling skin and the taut, straining muscles beneath. The tension between the raised arm and the dramatic, collapsing posture enhances the work’s emotional intensity and reflects Rimmer’s fascination with figures that rise and fall simultaneously. Although classical in theme, The Falling Gladiator differs from most contemporaneous American sculptures because it lacks a specific literary reference.