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)
Rogers Fund, 1907
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 700
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.
Signature: [top of base, between feet]: W. Rimmer / Sc
Inscription: [top of base, stamped in oval impression]: P. P. Caproni & Bro / Plaster Casts Boston
Marking: [foundry mark, top of base]: JNO WILLIAMS INC. / BRONZE FOUNDRY. N.Y.
Commissioned by the Rimmer Memorial Committee for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1907
Artist: William Rimmer (American (born England), Liverpool 1816–1879 South Milford, Massachusetts)Date: 1870–71; cast possibly 1906, definitely by late January 1907Medium: BronzeAccession: 07.223On view in:Gallery 774