Robert Riggs, Boxer and attendant

Robert Riggs: Boxer and attendant (c. 1933-1934) Lithograph on thin woven paper
Boxer and attendant
c. 1933-1934
Lithograph on thin woven paper
Credit Line
Gift of Claire W. Gargalli and Robert B. Waterhouse in memory of Dr. Robert P. Waterhouse, 1983
9 ¾" x 14 ¾"

Robert Riggs frequently used boxers as his subjects. Going to training gyms, evening bouts, and even dressing rooms, Riggs observed fighters in all aspects of their professional lives. In 1931, he attended an exhibition of George Bellows’s prints of boxers, which inspired him to learn lithography and take up the boxing ring as a subject. Where Bellows sometimes veered into caricature in his depictions, Riggs endowed his subjects with heroism and grit.

Riggs executed twenty-six prizefight prints. Rather than show the fighter in the arena, Boxer and Attendant depicts the well-muscled subject after the fight, bared nude to the viewer. The hovering attendant has draped a towel around his neck. The trainer is rendered with velvety blacks, while the boxer is composed of grays and white highlights.

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