The term Apoxyomenos comes from the Greek verb meaning to clean oneself: ancient Greek athletes used to scrape off the oils used to anoint the body before competitions with sand and a sort of spoon, called the strigil. This athlete is figured whilst he is removing the sand and oil from his extended right arm with the strigil in his left hand. The statue was made around the year 50 A.D. and is a copy in marble of the bronze masterpiece by Lysippus in his later years, around 320 B.C.
The Greek artist has managed to render the movement of the arm, which, with its strong forward movement, creates a space and gives depth to the image. The statue was discovered in 1849 in Trastevere during the excavation of a building from the Imperial age.