The Boxer is a late Hellenistic Greek Bronze sculpture, over 2,000 years old, and unearthed in the 19th Century. It is an example of not only the representational skills of Greek artists, but it is also a great example of their most humanistic artwork, a deeply personal piece that most likely reflected the Greek zeitgeist as the sun was setting on their culture and empire.
I saw The Boxer in an art book during my Art History 101 class and had a moment with it. I do not know why it, of all the art I ever saw up to that point, struck a chord with me, but I believe it was partially because of the deep character that came across in the piece, both in the expression of the boxer, his physical pose, and the unidealized details of his anatomy. The expression seemed to hit home. Fifteen years later, I finally had the chance to see it in person and sketch it, which meant a whole lot to me.