In regard to the bronze statue shown in Fig. 116 there is more room for doubt, but the weight of opinion is in favor of placing it here. It is confidently claimed by a high authority that this is an original Greek bronze. There exist also fragmentary copies of the same in marble and free imitations in marble and in bronze. The statue represents a boy of perhaps twelve, absorbed in pulling a thorn from his foot. We do not know the original purpose of the work; perhaps it commemorated a victory won in a foot-race of boys. The left leg of the figure is held in a position which gives a somewhat ungraceful outline; Praxiteles would not have placed it so. But how delightful is the picture of childish innocence and self-forgetfulness! This statue might be regarded as an epitome of the artistic spirit and capacity of the age – its simplicity and purity and freshness of feeling, its not quite complete emancipation from the formalism of an earlier day.
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