Erich Lessing

The bulging muscles and casual nudity of the wrestlers on this 12-inch-high, early sixth-century B.C. black-figure Attic vase reflect the ancient Greeks’ glorification of the male body. For young upper-class Greek men, exercising in the nude was a sign of civilized sophistication—the Olympic games, the greatest of ancient Greece’s Panhellenic athletic competitions, were contested in the nude.