The statue depicts a victorious athlete removing the oily sand from his skin with a scraper (strigilis). It follows a statue of Lysippos, the portrait sculptor of Alexander the Great, which bore the title Apoxyomenos (‘the one who cleans himself’). Lysippos made a conscious break with the sculptural rules created by the masters of the Classical period, like Polykleitos: the body is leaner, and the head (here missing) smaller. There is more distance between the feet, and one leg steps to the side. The athlete extends his arm, a gesture that only becomes meaningful when the spectator walks around the statue.